Sujoy Ghosh’s upcoming movie, Kahaani, has been shot in Kolkata — on the streets, in a tram, at the Metro Station, the Lalbazar police station, Kalighat and even in a ‘pandal’ during Durga Puja celebrations. The song, Ami Shotti Bolchi…, is a tribute to the City of Joy, along with Amitabh Bachchan’s rendition of the popular Rabindra Sangeet, Ekla Cholo Re…
Now, Sujoy is planning a Hindi film on a Bengali novel, Aranyer Din Ratri (Days And Nights In The Forest), that had been filmed by Satyajit Ray in 1970 and was nominated for the Golden Bear for Best Film at the 20th Berlin International Film Festival.
“I’m a huge Sunil Gangopadhyay fan, and this is the book I loved best. The story has stayed with me even though I read it when I was must have been in class eight or nine,” reminisces Sujoy. “I wanted to adapt a book for my next film since we have so much great literature in India that has not been exploited.”
Aranyer Din Ratri revolves around four friends who take off to a forested tribal land in Bihar to escape the daily, monotonous grind, and return to the city after three days, a little wiser from having rediscovered life and finding some startling answers to what they were seeking. “It’s a gripping story with many layers and I can identify with the four boys. I’ll have to revisit it again before I start working on the script. That should take six months,” reveals the director.
The film should roll next year. Says Sujoy, “ I know I’m putting my head on the block. Satyajit Ray is God and the odds are stacked against me. I have to put my best foot forward because if I go wrong with my favourite Ray film, Bengal will kill me. It’s a huge challenge, but then so was Kahaani with a ‘missing’ hero, and a heroine who is seven months pregnant. I love Kolkata, and Kolkata seems to love my song to the city. Let’s hope they like my Days And Nights In the Forest too.”