Tolly filmmaker Dhrubo Banerjee decodes Durgeshgorer Guptodhon's success
It's his passion for filmmaking that convinced filmmaker Dhrubo Banerjee to return to Kolkata for good after 22 years in Mumbai and Pune. After a very successful debut last year with Guptodhoner Sondhane (a refreshing treasure hunt story replete with the history of Bengal), the former adman has created a record with his second instalment, Durgeshgorer Guptodhon, which recently completed 50 days in theatres and is still running successfully across the state. It is not only the biggest blockbuster this year so far, but has also earned a whopping Rs 6 crores from the hall collections alone! Truly, setting a benchmark for the upcoming Puja releases to live up to. We caught up with this humble man on a sultry afternoon to decode the success of his film and to get a glimpse of his plans going forward. Excerpts:
Has Durgeshgorer Guptadhon surpassed all your expectations in terms of earnings? You seem to have cracked the success formula...
We never really thought that we will touch Rs 6 crores in terms of revenue. We are still running 20-22 shows, which are mostly packed. If the audience identifies with the plot and the characters, it’s bound to hit the bullseye. In the case of Guptodhon franchise, people could relate to the characters of Sonada (Abir Chatterjee), Jhinuk (Ishaa Saha) and Abirlal (Arjun Chakraborty), all of whom were real and convincing. When I pitched the franchise to Srikant Mohta (producer of the film), he said that if we could bring back the people in the age group of 5-28 years to theatres, half the battle would be won. I think the film resonated with the audience, young and old.
When’s the next instalment?
I did the first two in a row since it’s not a literature-based franchise and I needed to establish the characters in the audience’s mind. But now, I would like to take a little break before I lay my hands on it again.
How did you manage to keep Guptodhon distinct from a Feluda or a Byomkesh film despite evoking Bengali nostalgia?
Since I have lived outside Bengal for long, I have tried to showcase all the things that I deeply missed as a Bengali. Even Kolkatans at times tend to overlook something as ubiquitous as blooms of kash flowers in autumn, announcing the onset of Puja. Keeping the Bengali milieu in mind I tried crafting characters relatable to the current generation, which will be remembered years later just as a Feluda or a Byomkesh. Just as National Treasure movies have never gone beyond the North American territory, Guptodhon franchise too will never be shot beyond the geographical boundaries of Bengal. I am ready to take up the challenge of promoting Bengal’s rich heritage on a global platform in celluloid.
Any other movies that you are planning?
I will be shooting a psychological thriller from this September. The cast will be finalised by the end of this month.