The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Desire & the dame
Rituparna in Mon Amour, where she plays Labanyo from Shesher Kobita

Before Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide could sweep him off the stage to the sets, Herbert director Suman Mukhopadhyay is getting behind the camera for a Rabindranath Tagore novel.

Suman has found food for thought in a young widow’s desire for male companionship in Tagore’s Chaturanga. The leading lady Damini will be played by Rituparna Sengupta, who will soon be seen in yet another Tagore adaptation, Subhrajit Mitra’s Mon Amour: Shesher Kobita Revisited.

In Chaturanga, Bibar main man Subrat Dutta plays Sachish, while Joy Sengupta has been cast as Sribilash, whom Damini marries later. Dhritiman Chaterji is Jyathamoshai and singer Kabir Suman has a cameo as Sachish’s spiritual guru.

“I wanted Rituparna to be Damini. Somehow I felt she could bring the character to life. I wanted a mix of young and serious actors, and so I chose Dhritiman,” explains theatre director Suman.

Damini finds solace in the young and intelligent Sachish. She goes to the extent of seducing him, but by then Sachish has sought refuge in spirituality.

“I have long wanted to adapt Chaturanga on celluloid. The story has a timeless appeal.... A young widow struggling to break free from the shackles of society. Damini is a very flesh-and-blood character. She is not one to abide by rules. In fact, she cannot be easily domesticated when she tries to enter Sachish’s life. She makes life difficult for him and leaves him confused. I think the story is still very relevant,” says Suman, who starts shooting from March-end in Calcutta, Bolpur and Baruipur.

Debajyoti Mishra will compose the music, which will be heavy on kirtan. The Rs 60-lakh film will be produced by Camp Fire Films Venture.

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