Bollywood has time and again turned to sports for inspiration and some of the biggest hits in the recent years have come in the form of sports-centric films. Now, Tollywood is also looking towards sports for inspiration. A few days back Bengali director Riingo announced his new sports film, Messi, and now young filmmaker Hrishikesh Mondal is all set to direct a film on Bengal footballer, Kusumita Das. Titled Kusumitar Goppo, this is the first time a Bengali film is being made on a woman footballer.
“After the release of my debut Bengali film Achena Bondhutto (the film focused on the LGBT community) I was in search of a new subject. I came across an article in the newspaper about Kusumita Das and her struggle. She had suffered injuries while playing but nobody had come forward to help. Her story inspired me,” says the director.
A few months back, a celebrity charity football match was organised in Kolkata to raise funds for Das’ treatment.
Mondal spoke to Kusumita about the film and she agreed. “Kusumita told me about the shabby treatment meted out to her. After the media carried the news, she found help,” he says. According to Mondal, at present Kusumita is recovering from her injuries.
Mondal has managed a casting coup of sorts with this film. Soumitra Chatterjee, who is still remembered for his portrayal of trainer Khid da in National Award-winning sports film Kony (1986), will be seen again in a sports-centric movie. But this time Chatterjee will be seen in the role of a senior sports journalist, who helps Kusumita during her struggling days. Ena Saha will be essaying the titular role and Mondal informs the actor is already practicing football to get into the skin of the character. Madhabi Mukhopadhyay will play Chatterjee’s wife.
Meanwhile, footballer Shilton Paul, who is presently the captain of Mohun Bagan, will be seen playing himself in the film. This is Shilton’s debut film.
Mondal has more surprises in store. The iconic football theme song, Sab Khelar Sera Bangalir Tumi Football, by Manna De in Dhanni Meye (1971) will be recreated for this film. Bangla band Cactus’ frontman, Sidhu, will compose music for the film. Kharaj Mukherjee, who will be seen playing the role of Kusumita’s father, will do the playback for the song along with other new singers. Mondal promises that the climax of the film will feature a host of Tollywood celebrities playing football for the cause.