| Mimi Chakraborty, Parambrata Chattopadhyay and Raj Chakraborty all but go Gangnam during a script-reading session of Proloy at Raj’s Dhakuria office. Pictures: Sanjoy Chattopadhyayas
Even as his political film Kanamachi with Abir Chatterjee and Shrabanti gears up for a March release, Raj Chakraborty is getting busy with his next “original” project Proloy! On Friday afternoon Raj along with his lead cast — Parambrata Chattopadhyay and last-minute entry Mimi Chakraborty— had a script-reading session at his Dhakuria office. The other important cast member — Tolly’s busy bee Saswata Chatterjee, who plays a cop in Proloy — was missing due to a shoot.
Wasn’t Abir Raj’s first choice to play the protagonist in Proloy? “Abir couldn’t be a part of Proloy due to date issues. I was supposed to start shooting last year but because it’s an original film, and unlike the films that I have been making, I couldn’t find a producer and then Paranda (Bandopadhyay) had an eye operation. That’s why Abir couldn’t adjust his dates. But I’m very happy that Param has agreed to do the film,” said Raj, whose nightmarish search for a producer ended just after his script reading. “I made Shrikantda (Mohta of Shree Venkatesh Films) re-read the script and finally he said yes!” added the maker of Chirodini... Tumi Je Amaar.
Set in the interiors of Purulia, Proloy revolves around a next-door boy Barun Biswas (Parambrata) who stands up against social evils in his area. “It’s based on a true story. Barun Biswas lived in Sutia (North 24-Parganas), a village where many rape cases took place. Barun Biswas is no more. I read about him in the newspapers and decided to make a film,” said Raj.
The director had tried a similar concept for Sananda TV a year back, titled Proloy Aasche, with Paran Bandopadhyay playing an old man who unable to bear social injustice, stands up for the people. Abir was a cop in the serial.
“Paranda is playing one of the protagonists in Proloy too, Binod Bihari. After Barun dies, Binod Bihari and others stand up for their rights,” he added.
This is the first time that Param has teamed up with Raj and he is looking forward to the film. “It’s a very different kind of a film by Raj.... It’s slightly mainstream but not masala. We will not shoot any song sequences on a foreign shore! I loved the script,” said the actor.
For the only female lead in Proloy, Raj has zeroed in on Mimi Chakraborty. “I play Durga who joins Barun Biswas’s gang and later emerges as one of the most important members. Raj had told me about this character a long time back. He told me Durga isn’t a heroine but there’s a lot of scope for performance. It’s indeed a very challenging role. My character completely transforms in the second half. Durga becomes very calm and composed. I am happy that after Bojhena Shey Bojhena (Mimi had played Soham’s love interest in the film), Raj thought I could pull off Durga,” said Mimi.
For Raj, Proloy is a challenge, “not only because it’s an original film but also because I want people to know who Barun Biswas was”. “It’s sad we didn’t even know of him when he was alive. He had to give up his life to save his village from a bunch of rapists,” said Raj.