Kaushik Ganguly during the shoot of Manohar Pandey
Kaushik Ganguly during the shoot of Manohar Pandey

Kaushik Ganguly feels great to work with Raghubir Yadav and Supriya Pathak Kapur

Kaushik Ganguly’s first Hindi feature is a middle-aged relationship tale of a middle-class man

Known for telling unique relationship tales on screen, multiple National Award-winning filmmaker Kaushik Ganguly has always come up with stories that stay with you forever. “Being a student of literature, I have always loved telling stories, especially unique relationship ones. Though my medium is different, I like to tell different stories each time, that stay with my audience forever, whether it is that of Padma in Bisorjon, Ganesh in Bijoya or Puti and Madhu in Nagarkirtan. They might be in audio-visual format but they are stories nonetheless,” tells the erudite filmmaker.

This time, Ganguly is back with another interesting tale of middle-aged love and relationship and that too in Hindi. Titled Manohar Pandey, the film, produced by Surinder Films, is currently being shot in Kolkata and has Raghubir Yadav, Supriya Pathak Kapur and Saurabh Shukla in the lead. We had a short chat with Ganguly on the same. Excerpts:

<em>A still from Kaushik Ganguly's Ardhangini</em>
A still from Kaushik Ganguly's Ardhangini

How did the idea of the film come to your mind?

The idea of Manohar Pandey came into my mind long ago. I had always wanted to capture in reels the lives and tales of the Hindi-speaking people inhabiting the jute mill belt in and around Howrah and Titagarh. During the lockdown, people have discovered their relationships in a new light, whether good or bad since it has restricted us among very close few people. This period has evolved our relationships and the movie is all about that.

This is going to be your first Hindi film...

Since the story is about Hindi speaking people, I had to choose Hindi as the film’s language. It’s not my Hindi film debut as many in the media would like to put it across. This is my 28th film and at this point, there can’t be a debut in the strict sense of the word. I already have a well-developed, evolved and distinct language of filmmaking that will be evident in this film too. It’s an Indian language film and in Hindi, that’s how I would like to put it. In future, if my story demands, I would also like to make it in other languages. In fact, I want to make a film in Nepali for a long time now.

<em>Kaushik Ganguly</em>
Kaushik Ganguly

Did you always conceive Raghubir Yadav in the role of Manohar Pandey?

Of course, I wrote the script with him in mind and it was always Supriya Pathak in my mind as Manohar’s wife, Sangeeta. I have been quite lucky that way to get whoever I have thought of as my cast. Saurabh Shukla will be playing their close friend Vikash. Apart from that, there will be three talented actors from Bengal too, Chitra Sen, Sudiptaa Chakraborty and Mithu Chakraborty.

What’s the movie all about?

As I said, it’s again a relationship tale. It’s about a lower-middle-class clerk of a small sector private bank, who had been hit hard by the lockdown and his wife, Sangita. It’s about how the wife slowly gets to discover her husband after so many years of marriage since he is at home for a long spell thanks to the lockdown. The rest of the story, you have to find out when you watch it.

You must be excited about your first Hindi project?

Not really. It’s a story that demanded Hindi as a medium of language, that’s it. But definitely, I am happy that it’s a Hindi film since it will get many more theatres and eyeballs than a Bengali movie. Even a flop Hindi movie does better than a superhit Bengali movie since it gets released in more than 6,000 cinema halls.

What are your other upcoming releases?

My film Lokkhi Chele is releasing on March 5. Apart from that, there are two others, Ardhangini and Kaberi Antardhan that are awaiting release.