The Bomkesh gang
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- Published 14.08.10
|Saswata as Ajit and Ushasie as Satyabati with Abir Chatterjee’s Bomkesh|
Saswata plays Ajit, Bomkesh’s friend and the narrator through whose eyes we see the whole story. Ajit comments on the riots when there’s a lot of killing happening all around, a situation where the political and personal issues are all blurred. But I haven’t made Ajit just a narrator. In fact, he gives the clue to the murder. Ajit is sharp though not as sharp as Bomkesh and Saswata is brilliant as Ajit. I remember even Rituparno (Ghosh) and Swapan Ghoshal had Saswata in mind (to play Ajit) when they thought of making their Bomkesh Bakshi films.
She plays Satyabati, Bomkesh’s middle-class wife. Satyabati appears in two phone-call scenes as she has been sent away to her brother in Patna, along with their son, after the riots break out in Calcutta. I chose Ushasie for this role because Satyabati, though very homely, is an intelligent woman. I wanted a fresh face which Ushasie is. She is intelligent, very Bengali and also a talented actress.
She plays Nanibala Roy, Bomkesh’s first client. She comes to him as she feels her son’s life is in danger. Nanibala is a strong, manly woman and Swagata fit the character very well as she has this masculinity in her.
Rudra plays Prabhat, an orphan whom Nanibala has raised as her own son. Prabhat is a very quiet, honest person. He is a nice village boy. I wanted to give Rudra a very un-Rudra-like character. This was very different for him and Rudra has done very well. According to the story, Prabhat is dark and short, which matches Rudra’s physicality.
Swastika plays Shiuli, a singer who desperately wants to join films. Shiuli sings in a hotel in New Market and leads a seedy life. She turns out to be a very important character later on. There’s a verbal battle between her and Bomkesh. Swastika has an item song in the film.
Chandan is Bantul, an underworld guy who is also a friend of Bomkesh. Bantul deals in illegal arms and he makes a lot of money during the riots by supplying arms to both sides. It’s a very funny relationship between him and Bomkesh. Bomkesh comes to him to check out revolvers. Chandan has played a similar character in Bow Barracks Forever and in Madly Bangalee too, but you could say that the one in Madly Bangalee is a funnier version of the one in Bomkesh Bakshi.
Pijush is Gadai, Shiuli’s secretary and lover. He is a very dark character; he always carries a revolver with him. This character too is just the opposite of what Pijush usually plays on screen. With both Rudra and Pijush, I wanted to see how they do in roles that are unlike what one sees them in.
Biswajit plays a rich businessman who is in the money lending trade. He has made a lot of black money but no one knows how. He lives in a huge mansion in north Calcutta. Nanibala works as a governess in his house. He is killed in the beginning of the film and all the characters are suspects.
He is the office secretary of Biswajit and a very fishy guy. He’s also a suspect.
He plays a friend of Biswajit and is an alcoholic. He benefits from the murder.