It took 14 years for actors Prosenjit Chatterjee and Rituparna Sengupta to come together in a film. And when they did, as director Shiboprosad Mukhopadhyay describes, ‘it was magic on-screen’. On Monday, Prosenjit and Rituparna started shooting for director duo Shiboprosad Mukhopadhyay and Nandita Roy’s Bengali film Praktan. Not too many in the Bengali film industry had imagined that the actors, who hadn’t shared screen space for 14 years, would ever come together again. But the Bela Seshe directors managed to do what most filmmakers so long could only dream of.
The film’s set was bustling with activity on the first day of the shoot. “The first shot of the day was okayed in one take. In fact, most of the shots didn’t require more than one take. It doesn’t seem that they haven’t worked for years. They are extremely comfortable with each other. We have worked with so many actors, but haven’t seen this kind of chemistry in others. They make a magical pair,” beams Mukhopadhyay, who is equally excited about Bengali film Bela Seshe, which released on May 1, still going strong at theatres.
When we reach the set, we notice Prosenjit and Rituparna shooting for a montage sequence for a song, ‘Tumi jake bhalobasho’. While in one scene, they are seen listening to a song, in the other sequence, they are playing chess. “These are flashback scenes in the film. Ujjan (Prosenjit) and Sudipa (Rituparna) are married and we are shooting a song when they are happy with each other,” says Roy.
Prosenjit and Rituparna last shot for director Ratan Adhikari’s Jamaibabu Zindabad in 2001. Prosenjit-Rituparna are considered the most popular pair in Bengali cinema after Uttam Kumar-Suchitra Sen. Rituparna too is elated to shoot with Prosenjit again. “I have done some great work with Shibu and Nanditadi. We were a hit pair and the audiences want to see our on-screen chemistry. Praktan has a mind-blowing script. It’s an interesting love story where the past blends with the present,” says the actor.
Praktan, which means former or ex, revolves around Ujjan and Sudipa, who were once married. After they drift apart, Ujjan marries again. Prosenjit informs that everyone has a past. “We all have a past. Praktan is a simple film with a strong plot. It’s a story of a common man. Both Ritu and I have a unique understanding, which reflects on-screen,” says the actor.
Actors Soumitra Chatterjee, Aparajita Auddy, Biswanath Basu, and Manali Dey will also be seen playing important roles in the film. Anupam Roy of Piku fame is composing the music for the film. The film will be extensively shot in Kolkata and a few sequences will be canned in Mandarmoni too.