When it comes to movies, satire is a genre difficult to tackle at the best of times but Bengali director Sunanda Shyamal Mitra relishes the challenge. “The kind of films I like to make are those that are either satirical in nature or have a strong social message,” says three films old Mitra.
And his latest film is just that, a combination of the two. Uniquely titled Extraordi-naari, the film stars national award-winning actress Rituparna Sengupta as Taniya, a grooming guru who takes under her wings 10 socially victimised women to train them for a modelling show.
Mitra, 42, has worked under the likes of the late Bhupen Hazarika and Kalpana Lajmi and feels that the face of Indian cinema started to change in 2007 with the success of the small but critically acclaimed comedy film, Bheja Fry.
“People want content-based cinema now. Mindless blockbusters don’t always make the cut anymore,” he says. “Young filmmakers are exploring newer genres of filmmaking,” he adds.
Just like Mahesh Bhatt, Mitra also believes in giving newcomers a break which is why you will mostly see new faces in his films along with the tried and tested crop of actors.
Strongly women-centric, parts of the film Extraordinaari were shot in and around Chandigarh. Asked why he chose City Beautiful, he says matter-of-factly, “Because it really is City Beautiful.
Chandigarh also has a bevy of beautiful girls and you see a lot of girls trying to make their mark in pageants here.”
This film along with most of his others is a tribute to the women in his life. The director is set to recast Rituparna in his next film as well, shooting for which is expected to start in December. The film will be releasing this August.