The dilemma within

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By Mohua Das
  • Published 5.01.09

He writes scripts sitting in Miami to make films in Tollywood. Following in the footsteps of Podokkhep, Florida-based academic Suman Ghosh is back in town to shoot his second film Dwando. A t2 chat...

What is the story of Dwando?

Dwando is set in today’s Calcutta and it’s about a woman called Sudipta, who is facing a severe ethical dilemma. She needs to make a decision that goes against society and there’s a glimpse of her in and out of her marriage. The story involves a bunch of techies. I have Ananya Chatterjee playing Sudipta. Soumitrakaku (Soumitra Chatterjee) will play a well-known neuro surgeon, Dr Ashok Mukherjee, who becomes pivotal in the unfolding of Sudipta’s future. Kaushik Sen plays Anik, who is married to Sudipta, and there’s Rana who is Sudipta’s lover. I need someone smart and polished for this role. The narrative is like a chamber drama.

Is it in the same genre as Podokkhep?

Dwando is a serious film. I like delving into the psychological drama that goes on in an individual’s life every day. Podokkhep dealt with the drama around Soumitrakaku’s character as he connected with his childhood. Here, the drama revolves around the psychological tension of Ananya that we all face at some point in our lives.

I have always felt that a film should be something more than just a slice of life. In Ananya’s ethical dilemma we get the larger picture of how we can mould our behavioural pattern when some extraordinary events happen.

You’ve cast Soumitra Chatterjee, who got his first national award for Podokkhep...

The national award had nothing to do with the casting of Soumitrakaku. I had him in mind when I was writing Dwando. I’ve been to many talks and seminars on Podokkhep around the US and I realised that Soumitra Chatterjee is a piece of cinema history. We as filmmakers have a lot to explore through him. The role he will play in Dwando is more powerful than the one he had in Podokkhep.

Ananya: Leading lady

What made you choose TV actress Ananya?

Since I don’t live in Calcutta, I was afraid that a lot of time would be wasted looking for the right people. It was Prosenjit who had advised me to look at local talent. That was when I heard a lot of people talking about Ananya. I heard she has done a fabulous job in Rituparno Ghosh’s Abohoman. I didn’t know her, so I had asked her to send me some work samples.

I was in Miami when I sat through some of her serials and telefilms and I was bowled over by her acting. She was the diamond I was looking for. Dwando will establish her as a leading actress for sure. There are a lot of shades that her character explores in the film. Here, she’s a south Calcutta woman with a very strong personality.

You are also financing Dwando...

Yes, after Podokkhep and the national award I just had to set up a production house and channelise my work. Suman Ghosh Productions is funded by a group of professional investors based in the US.... Dwando is a small-budget film like Podokkhep. But while making Podokkhep I didn’t know how to pitch a film. It released without any publicity and marketing, so I’m going to look into it more professionally this time. But content is my priority.

What about the music?

Yes, music plays a vital role. It’s hugely western classical adapted to the Bengali milieu. Mayookh Bhowmick, who had done the music for Podokkhep and Herbert, will compose for Dwando. Nachiketa will sing the title track.

When does the action begin?

We start shooting on February 1 and plan to wrap up by end-November. We’ll be shooting a major portion at the Peerless Hospital. There’ll be a song-and-dance shoot in Shankarpur. We’re looking at a July release.