The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
One two ka four
Screen On & Off
Jeet and Swastika at the mahurat of Kranti; (below) Dev and Payel in a moment from Bhalobasha Jitbe

Churning out the biggest hits in Tollywood for the past few years ' with Juddha and MLA Fatakeshto turning out to be real box-office darlings ' Shree Venkatesh Films is on a huge high. Despite the slump of Prosenjit-starrer Refugee, the production house is ready to serve up two more films sooner rather than later.

First up is Kranti, director Ringo's first feature film. Ad film-maker Ringo has also steered the cinematography and editing. The emotional action drama starring Jeet and Swastika Mukerjee has Ashish Vidyarthi playing a suave, no-nonsense villain.

'Kranti is a very sophisticated action thriller, somewhat in the Ram Gopal Varma style. The hero and the villain will come face to face only in the last scene,' says Shrikant Mohta of Shree Venkatesh.

When the film hits the theatres during Puja, Kranti will score many a first in Tollywood. For starters, the soundtrack has been scored by Samidh and Rishi of Bangla band Paraspathar. There will also be a promotional track for which the producers are trying to rope in James, now famous for the Na jaane koi track from Gangster.

The cast shot a song sequence in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh ' the spot where Madhuri Dixit and Shah Rukh Khan had been to for Koyla. The climax snowballed on the sandy beaches of Konark. But the eye-catcher: the liplock between Jeet and Swastika.

'We have shot the film in a high-definition digital format to do colour corrections and then transfer it to the film format. The cinematography is also something completely different from what you have seen in regular Tollywood films,' claims Shrikant.

Next up, Venkatesh Films will introduce a new star pair in Tollywood, with fingers firmly crossed. With Dev and Payel in the lead, Bhalobasha Jitbe is a remake of a Telugu film directed by Prabhu Deva. Payel has some TV serials and a bit role in Subrata Sen's Bibar to show.

'The film's USP is a love story with a youth feel, and this is the costliest commercial Bengali film we have ever made,' says Shrikant. 'This is also the biggest risk we have ever taken. We have put more than Rs 2 crore just into the making. A star cast assures you a minimum footfall with their fans, but with newcomers it's a gamble which may or may not pay off.'

Bhalobasha Jitbe boasts five outdoor locations ' Araku Valley, Hyderabad, Raichak, Siliguri and Dubai. It will also be the first Bengali film ever to have been shot in Dubai, capturing the desert country in three song sequences. With Ravi Juddha Kinagi in the director's seat, the storyline sticks to the tried and tested love story of a city boy romancing a village girl. Currently in post-production, Bhalobasha Jitbe will be released post-Puja.

By December, Shree Venkatesh plans to have two more films on the floor ' one, the sequel to MLA Fatakeshto, starring Mithun Chakraborty.

So far, so good. The only blip: Haranath Chakraborty's Refugee, starring Prosenjit and Rambha. 'Refugee will do some business but maybe not up to expectations,' admits Shrikant, who remains open to the idea of working with Prosenjit in future.

Email This Page