Debutant Director Prem Modi On His Genx Rookie Sleuth — Arjun

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 1.05.13

Feluda and Bomkesh Bakshi have already carved a place in the audience’s hearts. Do you feel that Arjun will be able to achieve such a connect?

I’m 100 per cent confident of it! See, Arjun cannot be compared to a Feluda or a Bomkesh film. Arjun is a young detective from Jalpaiguri who has a mentor, Amol Som (played by Sabyasachi Chakrabarty), who guides him in solving cases. Arjun isn’t well-read like Feluda or Bomkesh, neither is he the gentleman that every Bengali looks up to. But I think the audience will finally connect and relate to a sleuth. Feluda and Bomkesh... people idolise them, but Arjun will be much more relatable. Om as Arjun will have a connection with the youth. Arjun is like the next-door-guy who solves critical cases and slowly becomes a hero. As a director, I’m very happy with Arjun (releases on May 3).

Samaresh Majumdar has written several adventures on his young hero Arjun. Why did you choose Kalimpongey Sitaharan?

This is the story that establishes Arjun as a young detective. The story has a lot of his background, about his life in Jalpaiguri, his parents and also Amol Som’s background. After this story, Arjun becomes sort of a hero who drives around in his motorcycle and solves mysteries. Here he is a rookie detective.

Director Prem Modi (far right) with cast members Manoj Mitra and Biswajit Chakraborty

Apparently Om wasn’t your first choice as Arjun...

He was always my first choice. When I first met him, I saw that innocence in his eyes which was needed for the character. My producer (T. Sarkar Productions) may have had other names in mind but for me Om was perfect as Arjun.

Arjun and Amol apart, who are the other key players in Arjun?

There’s Dipankar De, Manoj Mitra, Churni Ganguly, newcomer Raya and Raj Banerjee. But I don’t want to divulge who plays what because it’s a thriller and giving away the characters would mean giving away a lot of the story.

Tell us how Arjun functions as a sleuth...

Arjun is a novice. He has a knack for adventure and he looks up to Amol Som, who was a sleuth at one point of time and had cracked many cases. But Amol Som decided to retreat to the mountains to live in peace. He likes Arjun and helps him with the cases. Besides, in all Arjun films (there will be one every year, according to the producers), there will be a lot of suspense. It’s more like an edge-of-the-seat thriller. The audience won’t know till the end who the culprit is.... That’s the USP of Arjun.

Om with Churni Ganguly in Arjun

Having Sabyasachi on board must have been great...

Oh yes! He has guided us so well. And who could have played Amol Som better than Benuda (Sabyasachi)? After all, he has played Feluda in so many films. Benuda is very happy and satisfied playing Amol Som.

Have you selected a story for the next film?

No, that depends on the producer.

Kushali Nag

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