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Atanu Raychaudhuri talks about success of Projapoti

Projapoti tells story of father and son, which completes 100 days in theatres today

Arindam Chatterjee Published 01.04.23, 12:44 PM
(L-R) Dev; Mithun; Avijit Sen and Atanu Raychaudhuri; Koneenica; Mamata Shankar; Sweta

(L-R) Dev; Mithun; Avijit Sen and Atanu Raychaudhuri; Koneenica; Mamata Shankar; Sweta

Houseful shows, rave reviews and rapturous applause have signalled the box-office sweep of Projapoti, directed by Avijit Sen. Produced by Bengal Talkies and Dev Entertainment Ventures, the blockbuster Projapoti completes 100 days today in the theatres. Starring Mithun Chakraborty, Dev, Mamata Shankar, Sweta, Ambarish Bhattacharya, Koushani Mukherjee, and Koneenica Banerjee, Projapoti tells the story of a father and son. A Telegraph chat with producer Atanu Raychaudhuri of Bengal Talkies.

How does it feel right now?


It feels really special, I was very confident from the beginning that we were making a very good film. Eventually, it turned out to be a milestone in Bengali cinema. Projapoti has been the biggest success of my career as a producer in 10 years. This film has taken a very special place in the history of Bengali cinema. The film has cut across all age groups and languages and has connected with everyone. Projapoti is still running to houseful shows in multiplexes and single-screen theatres as it completes 100 days today.

Why do you feel Projapoti has connected with the audience in such a huge way?

The film has a beautiful story, with a great script and dialogues. Then there is the phenomenal chemistry between Mithun Chakraborty and Dev and Mithun Chakraborty and Mamata Shankar. I feel both Mithunda and Dev have come up with their best performances. The film also boasts amazing songs. One thing that also connected was how caring the son was towards the father. The larger theme of children caring for their ageing parents really resonated with the audience, and how magical that bond truly is. People went to theatres in large numbers with their families.

How did the film start off?

Avijit had read a newspaper article and sent me a screenshot. That’s when the idea came to me and I told Avijit that we can make a great film. Then we gradually developed the story and came up with the characters. Credit also goes to Subhadeep Das who wrote the dialogues.

Why did you decide to cast Mithun in the role of the father?

I could only imagine Mithunda in this role. I felt his body language will be perfect for the character. Once Mithunda came on board, we approached Mamadi.

Take us back to the day before the release of the film... were you nervous before the day of the release?

No... I was very confident about the film. In fact, I had told the director that if Projapoti does not click, it’ll be my last film as a producer. Now, Projapoti is ruling the box office for 100 days with regular houseful shows. Projapoti has scripted history in Bengali cinema by earning more than Rs 11 crores in 100 days. It has also become a boon for the single-screen theatres as with the release of this movie, many closed theatres reopened their doors for the movie buffs where the movie is running to packed houses. We have also noticed a significant increase in the total number of halls and shows both in the national and the international markets wherever the film has been released. This is our third consecutive critically and commercially successful venture with Dev. We are extremely happy with the audience’s verdict.

By what time did you realise that Projapoti is destined to become a blockbuster?

Within the first three days, I knew that Projapoti is going to create history; that it will become a blockbuster. The first-day box office figures were beyond my expectations. And then the word of mouth started to spread. On the first day itself, the audience could sense that Projapoti is a great film.

Do you feel Bengali films have to rely on festive windows to draw in audiences to the theatres?

We have an audience for Bengali films... they’ll go to the theatres to watch good films. But one must focus on the content.

Does it have to be a family drama only?

Not necessarily... the story should be based in reality. It should be should have that element of slice of life. The screen should be a mirror for the audience where they can see themselves. The audience should be able to identify with the characters... that’s when they will connect with the film. The story should also be emotional and have moments of humour too.

Are you involved with the making of a film from the beginning?

Yes, I am involved with the film, from the beginning. I am there throughout the making of the film, from the beginning to the end.

Will you be producing more films now?

This is my third film from Bengal Talkies. We are planning to come up with two-three films every year now. People have expectations from us... they want to see good films. These will be quality films.

Do you have other ambitions with Projapoti now?

I will be very happy if Projapoti runs in the theatres for 200 days. And I am confident that it will happen... I believe in it. That is my dream.

In your opinion, who is the number one director in the Bengali film industry right now?

Avijit is the most talented director I have seen so far in the present Bengali film industry and he knows the magic of how the audience can relate with the characters they see on the screen... and I am confident he will provide the oxygen to Bangla cinema, at least for the next 10 years.

When are you releasing your next film?

It’ll be the Christmas release of this year.

Pictures: B Halder

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