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A soapy Tagore tribute

Prosenjit and Rituparno Ghosh are taking their celluloid partnership to the small screen with a mega serial for STAR Jalsa. Rituparno is writing the script for the yet-untitled serial, to be produced by Prosenjit’s Ideas Creation Production, which is likely to wind up in a year.

“It’s dedicated to Rabindranath Tagore to mark his 150th birth anniversary. But it’s based neither on Tagore’s life nor on any of his works. This is a unique concept. It’s a love story in the form of a musical and Ritu (Rituparno) has written an awesome script,” said Prosenjit.

Rituparno has scripted about 40 episodes till now. “I was interested in the subject, whether we should see Tagore as only an institutionalised identity or be open to a fresh approach and contemporary interpretations. With this as the outline, I have written a story which has a wide range of human emotions and several references to Tagore. To me it’s important that our approach to this subject, which is fit for an academic discourse, is non-judgmental,” said Rituparno.

“And I don’t feel as if I am writing a mega serial. It is turning out to be much like my film scripts. People who have heard the script are urging me to make a film on it,” he added.

Prosenjit ruled out any chances of making a special appearance in his home project — “I am playing the producer’s part. Ideas is a film and TV production house and I was waiting for the right opportunity to get into television,” he said — and picked Arjun, the younger son of actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty, to play the male lead.

Newcomer Mimi Chakraborty is paired opposite Arjun. The cast also features Sabyasachi’s actress wife Mithu and elder son Gourab.

“Bumbamamu (Prosenjit) approached me for the serial... it’s the lead role and I am willing to do it. I have heard the basic outline but don’t know anything about my role yet,” said Arjun, a second-year Mass Communication student of St Xavier’s College. Arjun had acted in a few TV serials as a child.

Elder brother Gourab, an FTII Pune graduate who has edited a couple of documentaries, including one by his father, said: “I too am not sure about my role but I am eager to take it up. I would love to do anything related to films.”

For the soundtrack, the Prosenjit-Rituparno team has fallen back on Debojyoti Mishra, who had done the music for Rituparno’s Chokher Bali, Raincoat and Titli among others.

“I am composing the title track and the background score. Besides, there will be lots of Tagore songs (chosen by Rituparno) with a contemporary touch. Music is the pivot of this serial and since the issue is looking at contemporary interpretations of Tagore alongside the traditional, I am weaving in elements of jazz, blues and several other forms,” said Mishra.

The serial will be directed by Joydip Mukherjee, who has helmed Bandhan and Ekhane Akash Neel for STAR Jalsa. The team is targeting a June-end telecast date.

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