Come April and a film on West Bengal’s first women chief minister Mamata Banerjee is all set hit the screens. The film comes when the state going for polls shortly.
Titled Baghini (Bengal Tigress), the film will capture the mercurial political leader’s life from childhood till the time she along with her party reaches India’s power centre, New Delhi.
Though the makers prefer calling it an ‘inspirational story’, the similarity between Banerjee’s rise to power and the lead character of the film cannot be denied. Ruma Chakraborty, who plays the protagonist, Indira Banerjee, in the film, sports white cotton saris and chappals in the film much like the Trinamool leader in real life.
“The film is inspired by Didi. I don’t know whether Didi knows about our film. We have completed 99% of the shooting,” says Nehal Dutta, the film’s director.
Dutta and producer Ajitesh Mondal, who has written the story, have also expressed their desire to screen the film for Banerjee.
The makers, however, didn’t approach Banerjee for any inputs on the film. “I have been researching the story for the last three years. I have put to use whatever information was available in the public domain. The film traces the struggle of a woman since her childhood and how she goes on to become one of Bengal’s most powerful political personalities,” says Mondal.
However, the producer insists on calling it a ‘non-political film’. “It’s a film on women empowerment and carries a strong social message,” says Mondal.
Dutt also informs that they haven’t shown anything ‘controversial’ in the film. “We haven’t shown any political party in bad light in the film,” says Mondal, adding that there is also no mention of any land movement (read Singur) in the film.
Meanwhile, Ruma Chakraborty, who had earlier played the Trinamool leader in two Bengali Jatras —Banglay Khomota Ebar Mamata and Didi Tomar Jabab Nei —is excited to play the lead in a film. In 2010, Ruma had started shooting for a film on Didi, which was being directed by Bidhuyt Sarkar. However, the film got stalled. “I worked on my body language, and closely followed Didi’s videos and read her books. I have tried not to mimic or copy her. I have played the character with will all my heart,” says Ruma.
Ruma also harbors the dream of meeting the chief minister. “She is a very busy person and has a lot of responsibilities. But I hope to meet her someday,” she says.