The Telegraph
Saturday , October 16 , 2010
Since 1st March, 1999
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There are several strands shooting off the main plot...

See, Dui Prithibi is a journey of three characters. They meet different people, face different situations. Dui Prithibi isn’t just another commercial film where the lead characters fall in love, fight the goons and live happily ever after. Here, the two most important characters, Jeet and Dev, are travelling. That’s why I incorporated various subplots. Otherwise, it would have been very dull.

Jeet placing a bet with his friends to woo Koel is as cliched as it gets...

I had to take these liberties to portray Rahul’s character. It’s part of filmmaking. You put the hero in a tricky situation and allow the heroine to misunderstand, and then they separate and meet again. This is the formula. Every story is derived from the Mahabharata; there’s nothing new in terms of storytelling. All we can do is package and present it differently. The Jeet-Koel scene may seem cliched but it’s integral to the plot. I couldn’t think of a better situation to show how materialistic and money-minded Rahul is and the kind of lifestyle he had, before falling in love.

What was the motive behind bringing in the Maoist angle?

We’ve shown Nandini, a doctor, working in a Lalgarh medical camp and it’s obvious that the Maoist angle will be addressed. We wanted to touch upon certain contemporary issues and the Maoists are a political concern. We didn’t force it into the script. It was necessary to build some kind of tension in the plot. See, as a director I want to make different kinds of films. Dui Prithibi isn’t Challenge. It is for a slightly classy audience.

Some of the dialogues are long and even repetitive. Do you think the script could have been tighter?

No, I think NK Salil (script-writer) did his best. I liked the final draft very much. I used dialogue as a tool to create a character graph. There are a few scenes where Dev, the thief, is talking about himself and though that may seem a little long it is also a way of filmmaking. Besides, the dialogues are very normal... not even remotely close to the “Maarbo ekhane laash porbe shashane” type.

Did you shoot the songs in Venice just to jazz up the film?

Oh yes, absolutely! I shot them in Venice only to add glamour to the film. No other Bengali film has ever been shot there and I believe where we shoot the songs matters a lot to the audience. Sometimes a film becomes a blockbuster or has a tremendous initial just because of its hit songs. Take Dabangg, for instance.

Don’t you think the Bolpur landscape is overdone in Bengali films?

Yes, but I needed that kind of a landscape for the film. I wanted red sand, dry stretches of barren land, meandering roads.... Besides, when we shoot at a place we have to keep a lot of things in mind. Bolpur was convenient because I could ensure a good place to put up my unit and stars.

The music (by Jeet Gannguli) is not as strong as in your earlier films...

Yes, I think so too. It could have been better. But you never know, these songs might turn out to be chartbusters.

Are you happy with Koel, Dev and Jeet’s performances?

I am 100 per cent satisfied. They have really lived up to my expectations. But I think I could have done better as a director.

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