The producers of Rituparno Ghosh's Bengali film Khela have decided to dub the film in Hindi and release it without the cast or the director's consent, probably because Manisha Koirala and Raima Sen, names known to Bollywood, feature in the cast.
But Raima, who plays a costume designer in the movie that is set in the film industry, is opposed to the idea and so is director Rituparno.
"We saw what happened to my beautiful Bengali film Anuranan when it was dubbed in Hindi last month. I don't think any Bengali film should be released in a dubbed version and that includes Khela. In any case, I've a very small role in it. Ritu da keeps doing this to me. He insists that I play cameo parts in his films. Now, I want a lead from him," the actress said.
Rituparno was equally vehement.<b1>
"The decision was taken by the producers of Khela. I've nothing to do with it. And I completely dissociate myself from such transpositions. Earlier, the producers of Chokher Bali had insisted on dubbing it in Hindi because of Aishwarya's presence. This is a danger I'll have to live with, if I cast known Bollywood faces in a Bengali movie.
"I certainly hope they don't decide to dub my new film Sab Charitra Kalpunik into Hindi just because it features Bipasha(Basu). The film is full of Bengali poetry, which will sound like Greek in Hindi," the filmmaker said.
In what the prolific director describes as his most cerebral film so far, Bengali poet Joy Goswami contributes and recites poetry in Sab Charitra Kalpunik (All Characters are Imaginary). It features Bipasha as an NRI wife, who returns home to her roots in Bengal after many years when a tragedy overcomes her life.
The movie cements the relationship between Bengali cinema and literature that has been building through Aparna Sen's The Japanese Wife, which adapts author Kunal Basu's short story, and Rituparno's The Last Lear, which has Shakespearean overtones.
Said Rituparno: "I've admired Joy Goswami's poetry for years and was looking for an opportunity to include them in my work. The opportunity came in Sab Charitra Kalpunik because my male protagonist Prosenjeet writes poetry in the film. Joy's poems recur as voiceovers and monologues throughout the film...Yes, this is my most cerebral film, far more so than Last Lear."
He has shot a part of the movie in Santiniketan.
"Bipasha was disappointed. She wanted to see more of Santiniketan, especially the Tagore House, the museum and shop for saris. I couldn't take her around because of our tight schedules. But shooting with Bipasha has been a learning experience for both of us. I don't think Bipasha has ever been more comfortable with any unit. And the proof of it lies in the fact that her parents visited the sets. Bipasha's relatives, including her aunts (both paternal and maternal), kept dropping in. I don't think she ever felt more at home."
Rituparno insists Sab Charitra Kalpunik is a completely Bengali film. "And Bipasha has fitted in beautifully since she play a Bengali woman, who is back from a foreign land."