Bengali director Soukarya Ghosal starts shooting Bhoot Pori with Jaya Ahsan
Filmmaker Soukarya Ghosal strives to make cinema that will stir the soul
Though most of us use the words cinema, movie and film interchangeably, for the young and talented filmmaker Soukarya Ghosal, the three terms have distinct connotations. “There are three grades, a movie is something purely for entertainment, a film stirs you and is thought-provoking, while cinema is emotionally, intellectually and content-wise something so overwhelming that it touches all the right chords of your heart and stays with you for a long time to come,” explains Soukarya. And he aspires to make cinema. The director, who debuted with Pendulum, impressed everyone with his second film Rainbow Jelly, a tale of magic realism, where newcomer Mahabrata Basu stole hearts as the child protagonist. His third film, Rokto Rohoshyo starring Tolly actor Koel Mallick is set for a post-Puja release and the soft-spoken 32-year-old is already busy shooting his fourth, Bhoot Pori (Ghost Fairy) — a horror fantasy flick starring award-winning Bangladeshi actor Jaya Ahsan in the lead. We had a chat with Soukarya about the ghosts and how they are different in Bengal—before he left for shooting in Santiniketan with the film’s cast and crew. Excerpts:
So, after magic realism in Rainbow Jelly, we would look forward to a horror fantasy in Bhoot Pori...
Yeah, in fact, I wrote the script of Bhoot Pori right after shooting Rainbow Jelly, since I realised that there are so many ways fantasy tales can be told and ghost stories are one of them. We are accustomed to horror films that have biblical interpretation and are mostly scary with the ghosts always being evil. But in the Bengali literature and culture, ghosts are not always intimidating. Bengalis have grown up reading about Satyajit Ray , Leela Majumdar, Shirshendu Mukherjee or Troilokyanath Mukhopadhyay’s ghosts, who have human qualities of head and heart. I will simply try to bring back that flavour on the screen.
What’s the story about?
Here Jaya Ahsan’s character becomes a ghost in 1947, the year of independence, but she doesn’t know how she died. She will only get salvation after she solves the mystery of her death. She uncovers that together with a little boy whom she meets in 2019. Bishantak Mukherjee plays the child, Sudiptaa Chakraborty plays his mother and Ritwick Chakraborty plays the village thief. There’s also Shantilal Mukherjee, who plays a sadhu.
When will Bhoot Pori release? Are there any more films you are doing?
I like to take a lot of time to complete a film, at least, eight to nine months. I have plans to make a pure love story and a science fiction in future.