From Devdas's ghost to Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, Tolly star Prosenjit Chatterjee plans big
Take Devdas, the character immortalised by Sarat Chandra Chattapadhyay and enacted down the decades by a range of actors from Dilip Kumar to Shah Rukh Khan. Turn him into an apparition and name him Das Da. If that sounds too quirky, get ready to sit back and watch a complete movie, possibly next year, with Jishu Sengupta playing the eponymous role.
Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, characters penned by Upendrakishore Roy Chowdhury more than 100 years ago and immortalised by Satyajit Ray in the 1969 classic film, may also be reinvented by NIdeas Creations and Productions, the production house of Tollywood star Prosenjit Chatterjee. One of the masterpieces of Bengali cinema, the two characters will perhaps undergo a modern makeover, a challenge for any creative mind.
These are just two of a slew of projects that Chatterjee announced on Thursday, wearing the hat of a producer. “In the next couple of years, we hope our films will define the vision that I have for Bengali cinema,” said Chatterjee.
He also unveiled the logos of Abhishek Saha’s directorial debut Uronchondi and Soumik Sen’s Mahalaya, both produced by his production house NIdeas. Talking about Das Da, Chatterjee says, “We are going to make a series of this movie and it’s not going to be a detective film”. This film will be made by debutant director Chandril Bhattacharya, who is also a songwriter and member of the popular Bangla band Chandrabindoo.
Soumik Sen, who directed Madhuri Dixit-starrer Gulaab Gang, is also going to direct Kolkata Company with Chatterjee in the lead. “Whenever we met at my Mumbai residence, I asked Soumik to make a film with me. But he always wanted Mahalaya to be his Bengali debut. Hence, I will be acting in his second venture. The film is about the underworld of the eighteenth century Bengal, and has similarities with a historical character, but it will be unlike the typical underworld movies,” says Chatterjee, who is planning to cast someone from Mumbai for the female lead.
Sen, who is based out of Mumbai, has joined NIdeas as the creative consultant and will be helming the creative process for all their films.
Besides these three films, Chatterjee is also planning to do a film based on a novel of Suchitra Bhattacharya, many of whose stories have been rendered into films by director duo Shibprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy and late Rituparno Ghosh.
Chatterjee also said that by the end of this year he would be bringing on board national award winning director Kaushik Ganguly to make a very special film. “We have worked together in many ventures, the latest being Kishore Kumar Junior, which will release this year. I have been asking Ganguly for a long time now to make a movie with us, and he has finally relented,” informs Chatterjee.
NIdeas is not only working with directors of repute but also scouting for fresh talents.
Besides Abhishek Saha and Chandril Bhattacharya, the house is also introducing Chandrashish Ray, who has been assisting Ganguly for a long while now. “I have always supported good content and worked with many new directors, such as Srijit Mukherji. I hope our out-of-the-box films will resonate with the audience and take Bengali cinema to an altogether new level,” says Chatterjee.