Of feelings, frills and frailties

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By Relationships ? some pure, some sinister ? are under the spotlight in three Bengali films being shot this season. Metro takes a closer look at these projects that have more than their share of Bollywood?
  • Published 25.10.05
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ANURANON

Architect Rahul Bose arrives in Sikkim to build a resort. Raima Sen, married to the man who is ploughing in money for the project, happens to be there too. The two have known each other for long, but the lonely hills sow the seeds of a relationship.

Ad film-maker Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury has chosen the resonance of relationships to start his feature film-making career. Pairing Rahul with Rituparna Sengupta and Raima with Tota Roy Chowdhury, Anuranon (working title) will delve deep into the shades of bonds forged in and out of wedlock.

?A relationship between a man and a woman need not necessarily be that of husband-wife or boyfriend-girlfriend. My film is about the untold resonance embedded in a relationship. But we will also explore the relationship with nature. Kanchenjunga is the third character here,? says Aniruddha, having finished his first shoot schedule in Sikkim.

Cinematographer Sunil Patel, the man behind Salaam Namaste and Hum Tum, has canned ?some amazing? shots of the Kanchenjunga at sunrise and sundown, and during moonlit nights.

?Making feature films is every ad film-maker?s dream and I have been toying with the idea for the past three to four years,? says Aniruddha, who co-wrote the screenplay with a friend. Anuranon will feature music composed by tabla exponent Tanmoy Bose and Asish Rego from Mumbai.

The Calcutta schedule starts from December 4-5; a foreign trip with the cast and crew is also on the cards. Barun Chanda and Shantilal Mukherjee are among the other cast members.

SIR

Mahima Chaudhuri (picture right) deliberately mouthing broken Bengali would be a talking point when Kaushik Ganguly?s Sir hits the floors along with Prosenjit this December.

But this Bollywood import will not play a demure soft-spoken Bengali belle. ?Mahima is a solicitor and a bit rough. There?s a tiff between her and Prosenjit (a visually-challenged teacher who runs a school for children with vision impairment) in the beginning, but love blossoms soon after,? says Ganguly, moving closer to the mainstream commercial genre with Sir after Warish and Shunyo e Buke.

Mahima?s familiarity with the Bengali language dates back to her school days in Darjeeling. ?She speaks fluent Bengali, so that?s something Mahima will have to unlearn to an extent to suit the character,? feels Ganguly.

Calcutta will get to see very little of the Pardes girl, as Ganguly is planning a lengthy outdoor shoot with only a day?s stop in the city. The rest of the film will be shot in the lap of nature in north Sikkim.

Nature again plays a crucial role as the common cord that binds the lead pair is a passion to save the greens. But in the garb of an ode to nature, Sir is basically a love story with song and dance... the works, confirms the director. ?It will be an out-and-out commercial film that families can enjoy with their children? Prosenjit goes blind all of a sudden in the film. So, there?s a range of emotions he goes through ? from being irritated, agitated to finally frustrated? He will be attending workshops and meeting children from blind schools to prepare for the role.?

The cast includes Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Dipankar De, Churni Ganguly and Arjun Chakraborty. Music will be composed by Chiradeep Dasgupta.

BIBAR

To translate Samaresh Basu?s controversial novel Bibar into a screen saga, Subrata Sen has picked a pair of NSD-trained actors, rather than star power. Subrata Datta ? who had earlier worked with Sen in Swapner Feriwala ? plays the upwardly mobile executive Biresh smitten by the upper-class call girl Neeta (Tannistha Chatterjee).

?A lot of importance is being given to middle-class relationships in our films these days. So I felt this unconventional relationship, which is psychosexual and political at the same time, would be a striking thing to set in contemporary times,? says Sen, shooting the crucial murder scene from the novel at Technician?s over the weekend.

?The murder takes place at the start, and the story is told in flashback like a stream of consciousness narrative. In the film, we have retained a linear structure, putting in the non-linear sequences in between,? he explains.

Set in the Seventies, Bibar the book consists of mainly monologues and thoughts, so Sen has penned soliloquies apart from dialogues. ?There is the pressure of living up to the novel. I have tried to retain its contents as much as possible. Though nothing much happens in the book, I have worked on the references to several incidents.?

But after the controversy kicked up by Hothat Neerar Jonyo, Sen is a little wary about shooting some ?bold? scenes. ?I had a very bitter experience with the censors during Hothat Neerar Jonyo,? he says. With P.B. Chaki behind the camera, Sen will camp at Chandipur-on-sea to shoot a few dream sequences. The film is being produced by Kamal Bansal.