Heartfelt reactions are pouring in from all quarters. Fans are going gaga over the historical fiction film, starring Dev, playing the father of Indian football, and reviews are celebrating a Golondaaj win! Director Dhrubo Banerjee is excited and happy. A t2 chat with Dhrubo...
The locations in Golondaaj deserve a special mention. How did you pick the locations for this period piece?
I was seeing everything with a fresh perspective. Golondaaj is a historical fiction which has elements of fantasy in it. Fantasy is a central theme of my films, which is also connected with Bengal’s culture, history and roots. Making films in Bengal is like a mission for me, an adventure in itself. This is like a quest for me. Location is an integral part of that. We shot a section of Golondaaj in Dasghara, and the last film to be shot there before Golondaaj was Ray’s Ghare Baire.
How did you know about these places?
We did the location recce for four months. Within a radius of two hours from Calcutta, we visited all the places possible where we can shoot. I cannot write unless I see the locations. I started writing after zeroing in on the locations in 2019. Location is a character for me. We shot everything in real locations. All the props for the film were created... for example the canopy of the boat was created.
How did you collaborate with cinematographer Soumik Halder?
We discussed in detail about the frames. From framing to the tempo or rhythm of a scene to figuring out the relevance of shots to the story, we discussed it all. And we saw a lot of paintings.
Golondaaj has a period glow to it...
It is a tone exclusively created for the film. It is a tone specifically done in grading keeping the period in mind. That is why everyone is loving it so much. It does not follow any traditional tone as such.
Did you have sequences where you had to do, maybe, more than 20 takes?
Yes! There is a sequence where we had to take more than 30 takes. Because of all the people involved in the sequence, from their acting, to movement choreography, camera choreography, foreground, background... one had to think of VFX too! It was unthinkable.
What were your thoughts when the shoot was finally wrapped up?
Our last day had a gruelling schedule. It went on for many, many hours. It was Dev’s birthday. A cake was cut. And Dev just went on working. You’ll see actor Dev in Golondaaj. He has put in his everything. One has not seen Dev like this before! I know the kind of immense hard work and dedication he has put in. The bonding among the team members was very special over a period of two years.
Picture: B. Halder