Kolkata's house of horrors piques Tollywood fimmakers' interest

  • Anindita Acharya, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Jun 17, 2015 17:13 IST

The Robinson Street skeletons have already started to tickle the imagination of Tollywood directors. Some of them told HT that it is perfect fodder for films with few adding that they are just waiting for a producer.

"There are a lot of dramatic elements such as incest, carcass, skeletons and spiritual books in the Robinson Street plot. People are comparing entire episode to that of Hitchcock's Psycho, but I think this is even more dark, gruesome and gory," said filmmaker Anik Dutta, who debuted in 2012 with Bhooter Bhabishyat (2012), one of the biggest blockbusters of recent times.

Bhooter Bhabishyat was a story on ghosts and supernatural elements with a touch of satire. Dutta is not really interested in making a film based on the plot right now, but he thinks the incident is eminently suitable to be adapted into a film.

"Hitchcock's Psycho was dark, but Robinson Street is darker. It may be thrilling to read about Partho De and how he spent his life with the skeletons of his sister Debjani and their two dogs, but I am not sure how many people can accept a plot so dark on the screen," added Dutta.


A still from the hit Tollywood film Bhooter Bhabishyat.

On Tuesday, HT spoke to a few Tollywood directors and scriptwriters who directed films on ghosts and thrillers. All described that the world of the De family is cut out for films.

Take Haranath Chakraborty, who has directed Chhayamoy (2013) based on Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay's story on supernatural elements. Chakraborty is willing to direct a film on Hitchcock's Psycho house - as the Robinson Street house is being popularly described - if any producer comes forward with funds.

"The story has all the ingredients for a film. It depends on how the director and the scriptwriter want to present the story… it can either be a thriller, or a comedy," said Chakraborty.

NK Salil, one of the most successful scriptwriters in Tollywood, with hits such as Minister Fatakeshto, Boss, Rangbazz and Paglu 2 under his belt, admitted Robinson Street skeletons hold out a 'good subject' for films because of the interplay of psychological elements.

"From schizophrenia to multiple personality disorder, the plot has various elements. Some parts of the incident need to be changed for the big screen," he says.

Watch Bhooter Bhobishyot trailer here:

Interestingly, Dutta also said that a few days ago, he and his editor were having a conversation on how a series of amusing stories can be spun off from the Robinson Street incident. "I am sure a few directors in Tollywood have already started thinking of story ideas on the plot. Directors such as Roman Polanski could have made a great film on it," said Dutta.

There are other shades of opinion too. Aniket Chatterjee, who recently directed a thriller Room No 103 said he would rather make a film on how the media is projecting the incident.

"It's very annoying how the media is handling the whole incident, especially the summary trials. Nobody is certain what really happened but the media is constantly hammering certain things in the mind of the viewers as the truth," he says.

HT has already reported how there is a flood of calls to the office bearers of Paranormal Research Society from across the state from people who want to get their houses examined for spirits or enroll for a course in paranormal studies and even become investigators themselves. There is also a beeline of curious onlookers throughout the day and even into late hours of the night in front of the otherwise desolate Robinson Street.

No wonder directors are certain of houseful audiences if a film on the subject starts rolling soon.


* Hanabari (1952) - Premendra Mitra
* Monihara in Teen Kanya (1961) - Satyajit Ray
* Kuheli (1971) - Tarun Majumdar
* Lal Kuthi (1978) - Kanak Mukherjee
* Bancharamer Bagan (1980) - Tapan Sinha
* Bhooter Bhabishyat (2012) - Anik Dutta
* Jekhane Bhooter Bhoy (2012) - Sandip Ray
* Goynar Baksho (2013) - Aparna Sen
* Chhayamoy (2013) - Haranath Chakraborty
* Chaar (2014) - Sandip Ray
* Galpo Holeo Sotyi (2014) - Birsa Dasgupta

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