Celebrated adman Bauddhayan Mukherji is best known for his campaign against domestic violence, titled Bell Bajao. Now donning the hat of a director, Mukherji is all set to make his Tollywood debut. His maiden venture Teen Kahan, which stars Suman Mukhopdhyay, Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Dhritiman Chatterjee and Rituparna Sengupta in lead roles, saw the entire cast of the film, along with ace Bollywood filmmaker Imtiaz Ali, at the press conference in Kolkata recently.
Mukherji's film depicts myriad emotions through a trio of stories. Each story is arranged in the manner of the classic Three Act Play. Every act explores one side of an obsessive relationship outside the purview of marriage.
Ali, who is also presenting the film, was all praise for the director. "I feel that Bengali cinema has given a lot to the world. There has been a certain standard of inspiration and creativity that has inspired the entire world and to see the traces of it coming back to what it was, was very exhilarating. Bauddhayan has done a great job and I hope this becomes a successful film so that it can inspire others. Every member of the film has done a remarkable job," said the Highway director.The film, which releases on September 11, tries to capture the changing face of morality, the degeneration of values, the increasing pollution of the spoken language and the changing social fabric of Bengal through stories spread over a hundred years from 1920.
"In a way, Teen Kahan is my tribute to 100 years of Indian cinema. I decided to play around with the form, content, language and technique of the cinema in my own way. I chose the stories from three different eras so that I could experiment with the technology and style," said Mukherji.
The first film titled Nabalok, based on Bibhutibhushan Mukhopadhyay's short story, is all about a poet's devastating first love. Seven-year-old Barshan Seal plays the young Suman Mukhopadhyay and has also won the best actor award at the North Carolina State's Global Film Festival 2015 for his performance. The film, set between 1920 and 1954, is shot in black and white.
"I have known Bauddhayan for a long time. When he had first approached me for the film I wasn't ready for it. But he managed to convince me. The storyline and my character appealed to me. I just couldn't say no to him," said Mukhopadhyay.
The second film, titled Post Mortem, is a chamber drama set in 1978 and deals with two men (played by Joy Sengupta and Sabyasachi Chakrabarty), the lover and the husband of a woman who ends her life. "I enjoyed working with Bauddhhayan. He is disciplined," said Chakrabarty, who had initially turned down the role. "I consider myself to be a mediocre actor and the role demanded a good actor. I thought I would not fit the role. But he (Mukherji) convinced me," added the Royal Bengal Rahasya actor.
The third film, titled Telephone, starring Rituparna Sengupta, Dhritiman Chatterjee and Ashish Vidyarthi is set in 2013 and explores the dark side of human relationships. "The fact that Bauddhhayan is so articulate and passionate about his work comes across in the film. He created a beautiful atmosphere on the set and I am extremely satisfied having worked with him," said Sengupta.
(With inputs from agencies)