Rakta Karabi, one of the most complex works by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, will, for the first time ever, be made into a film by a young director but with a modern interpretation. The highly metaphorical work had been staged in the past by several famous theatre groups like the Bohurupee of all-time great Shambhu Mitra and Tripti Mitra.
Bohurupee’s was the first stage adaptation of the dance-drama back in 1954 while the latest stage presentation was made in 2010, directed by Goutam Haldar. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s directorial venture will have stage and film co-existing to present an altogether new experience.
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“We are daring to open a fresh dialogue with Tagore and trying to evaluate the present condition through interpretation of the text while conforming to the format and essence of the original,” said the young director.
With the music scored by ace music director Debojyoti Mishra, cerebral Bengali stage and film actor Kaushik Sen will essay the pivotal role of Bisu Pagol while Mumtaj Sorkar of Bhooter Bhabisyot fame will be seen as Nandini.
“My character Nandini is a modern-day girl wearing specs and she is like a typical university-going girl, a revolutionary, definitely a Marxist, who is not bothered about fashion but how the country should be run,” Sorcar said on location of the shooting here.
The director, who was standing by her side, interjected, “The film interpretation will have Nandini who looks like a typical JU student, an idealistic and simple girl, who talks in commonplace dialect but in pure, unadulterated Bengali.”
“But, when we shoot the stage play of Raktakarabi you will see a typical Tagorean Nandini as originally envisaged by Tagore in the drama written in 1923-24 during a visit to Shillong,” he added.
Red is the recurring theme of the play, inspired by the image of a red oleander plant crushed by a discarded piece of iron that Tagore had come across while walking through Shillong streets.
So, the costumes and color scheme will be dominated by red contrasted against green, the colour of freedom and exuberance.