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Enter, genx sleuth Arjun

The poster of Arjun

After Feluda, Bomkesh Bakshi and Kakababu, get ready for Arjun — the youngest Bengali detective of them all — to hit the big screen!

Prem Modi has chosen the popular GenX sleuth, created by author Samaresh Majumdar, for his directorial debut Arjun. T. Sarkar Productions — which had earlier produced Sandip Ray’s Feluda films Kailase Kelenkari and Tintorettor Jishu — is backing the project.

Newcomer Om has been cast as Arjun. Om had previously done a bit role in the Sananda TV serial Jeet. And surprise, surprise! Sabyasachi ‘Feluda’ Chakrabarty plays Arjun’s mentor, Amol Som.

“So far the Bengali audience has seen either the dhoti-kurta-clad Bangali detective solving cases from home or a sleuth like Feluda who uses his magajastra to crack cases. Arjun is a jeans-and-T-shirt sleuth, in his 20s. He is young and GenX can easily connect with him,” says Modi, who has worked as the chief assistant director in Aparna Sen’s Iti Mrinalini and Anjan Dutt’s Chalo Let’s Go…

Om, who will play Arjun
Churni Ganguly in a look test as Nilam. Picture by Pabitra Das

Arjun will be an adaptation of two Samaresh Majumdar stories — Khunkharapi and Kalimpongey Sitaharan.

“In this film, Som assigns Arjun the task of solving Sita’s case. Sita’s father (Dipankar De) had hired Som to find out who wants to kidnap his daughter,” says Modi.

Churni Ganguly plays the pivotal role of Nilam, Sita’s governess. The film also stars Biswajit Chakraborty and Manoj Mitra. Debutante Raya plays Sita.

“We have clubbed two stories because we couldn’t base the film on one story. It was becoming too sketchy…. We did not make any film after Jiyo Kaka!! (directed by Parambrata Chattopadhyay) because we wanted to do something meaningful. After Feluda, we were toying with the idea of bringing another sleuth story to the screen. In a survey conducted by our team, we found that a large number of college-goers are huge Arjun fans. We then approached Samaresh Majumdar and he agreed to give us the rights,” says Sunita Bhattacharya of T. Sarkar Productions.

“Going by the story, the film is set in 2000, so Arjun is your boy next door but he doesn’t use a mobile phone. He has grown up in north Bengal and back in 2000, not too many people used a mobile phone. At least not a young, jobless youth! But he will ride a bike,” adds Sunita.

Arjun rolls on the floors on April 20 but before that Om, Raya and a few other actors are attending workshops under theatre veteran Sohag Sen.

Modi, on his part, has taken up the project as a challenge. “I know there’s a huge audience for Bomkesh and Feluda, but I’m sure Arjun will have a connect too,” he says.

A major part of the film will be shot in the foothills of north Bengal and in Kalimpong, apart from Calcutta.