Bollywood scriptwriter Arijit Biswas on his debut Bengali film, Surjo Prithibir Chardike Ghore
There's no doubt that the earth revolves around the sun, and not otherwise. But what if someone believes against all odds that it’s the other way round? For the past 40 years, 75-year-old Kartik Chandra Paul has been propagating the belief that the sun goes around the earth through his pamphlets, booklets and graffiti on walls around Kolkata, despite being ridiculed as a lunatic, all along. This serves as the premise for a very political film, made by Arijit Biswas, who also wrote the scripts for Bollywood films such as Agent Vinod, Badlapur and Andhadhun.
In his first Bengali film, Surjo Prithibir Chardike Ghore, TC Paul, played by thespian Meghnad Bhattacharya, relentlessly preaches his geocentric model of the sun and the other planets revolving around the earth, which he proclaims to be a dead star. This acts as a backdrop for the slow death of a sense of political ideology (read: Communist ideals) due to lack of conviction on part of their leaders.
“When Paramita Munshi came to me with this story, I further developed it, and we submitted it at the NFDC scriptwriting lab. There it got selected and mentored by international scriptwriters, and thereafter, I made the film,” says Arijit about the film, which was awarded for best direction at the Kolkata International Film Festival’s Indian language section, last year.
Biswas, who has earned renown for writing scripts of tout thriller films along with Sriram Raghavan, stayed away from making this film in Hindi, as he feels that this kind of political movement, which took place in Bengal, cannot be found in any other state. “The film delves into how this middle-aged man stuck unwaveringly to his convictions, whether true or false, against the backdrop of the state losing its trust or faith in Left-wing politics, and a large section of the party cadres faltering in their own beliefs,” says Arijit.
The film, which stars Anjan Dutt, Chiranjeet Chakraborty and Sreela Majumder, besides Meghnad, is shorn of the typical ingredients of a commercial film, and is set to release today, along with another Bengali film Bohomaan. “That’s really not an issue, but what I really wished for was more primetime in multiplexes,” notes Arijit.
Going forward, Arijit is working on a script for filmmaker Arindam Sil, in which Prosenjit Chatterjee plays the main character. “It’s a neo-noir thriller and will be shot abroad next year. I am also co-writing the script for a Hindi biopic based on Arun Khetarpal and the 1971 Indo Bangladesh war, where Varun Dhawan will play the lead. Also, there’s Abhay Chopra’s upcoming movie, for which we are writing the story,” informs Arijit.
Any other plans for making more films? “I will write the script for another film that I plan to direct. It’s a beautiful story by an author, and I want to cast Prosenjit Chatterjee in it. But that will not be before 2021,” he informs.