The cast of Srijit Mukherji's Shah Jahan Regency revealed
After Rajkahini, Srijit Mukherji and Rituparna Sengupta are teaming up for the second time for Srijit’s next, Shah Jahan Regency, a modern-day adaptation of Shankar’s iconic novel Chowringhee.
“Rituparna is a fantastic actress. I have a stupendous working equation with her. She adds the X factor... and I thought it would add a lot of zing to the final cast. Her role is unique in a lot of ways and she has an extended special appearance,” said Srijit. The film also stars Abir Chatterjee, Swastika Mukherjee, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Anjan Dutt, Anirban Bhattacharya, Rudranil Ghosh, Babul Supriyo, Rittika Sen and Mamata Shankar. “Abir is possibly the most underutilised actor in today’s time. I had given him a challenging role in Rajkahini, and will again do so in Shah Jahan Regency, where he will have to shoulder even bigger responsibility,” said Srijit.
Shah Jahan Regency, adds Srijit, is a retelling of the novel in modern times against a totally different socio-economic and political backdrop. “I have retained the essence of the characters but I have reinterpreted them. This is a fresh set of characters inspired by the original set. You might find shadows of the original characters in the new ones. But these characters have been re-etched keeping in mind the contemporary times,” said the Uma director, who still remembers the experience of reading Chowringhee for the first time, and the way he felt for the characters.
“Everything is steeped in very deep nostalgia. It is one of the first novels I read. Chowringhee was the first thing that made me fall in love with my city, Calcutta, and its incredible enigma, much before Kabir Suman came and changed my perception, my love for my language and my city with his songs,” he added.
Srijit will be working with Parambrata after Zulfiqar and with Swastika after Jaatishwar. “She and only she could have played this character the way it has come out. It’s a tailor-made role. Param has been one of my go-to men, apart from Jisshu (Sengupta) and Bumbada (Prosenjit). I have a great tuning with him and I think he is one of the most intelligent actors around.”
Prosenjit and Jisshu, whose names were initially announced months ago as part of the cast, finally couldn’t do the film. “Bumbada felt someone younger should do the role. And Jisshu’s gall bladder surgery meant that he had to give dates (to complete the shoot) for the Bombay films. So it clashed with my dates,” said Srijit.
The shoot for Shah Jahan Regency starts mid-July in various city hotels.