In 1958, Satyajit Ray's satirical film, Parash Pathar, which charted the transformation of a bank clerk when he stumbled across a stone that converts iron to gold, took cinegoers by storm.
Half a century later, debutant filmmaker Arijit Biswas is making a dark comedy that revives memories of Ray's work by talking of a clerk on the verge of ruin who chances upon something that changes his life.
Not a remake
Biswas refuses to term his film, Kanchanbaboo, a remake of Parash Pathar.
"It's not a remake. However, the first thing that will come to people's minds is Ray's Parash Pathar. This is because both have a minor clerk as the protagonist and their transformation is more or less similar," says Biswas.
He continues, "The last 20 minutes is very disturbing. Kanchanbaboo is a dark comedy."
The original story, penned by FTII alumni Ranjan Das, was very dark, says Biswas. Some elements of fun were added in the screenplay.
"It was then Kanchanbaboo that started looking like Paresh Chandra Dutta of the Ray film," he says.
Biswas' film revolves around Kanchanbaboo, who loses his job. When he tries to commit suicide, a friend makes a proposal that would make him rich but involve criminal activity. The protagonist's desire for quick money just keeps increasing.
The director is excited about casting Paran Bandyopadhyay in the title role.
"We cannot think of the film without Paranda," he says. "I loved the character. After reading a sequence, I visualised the concept on the last scene from the film Vera Cruz with Burt Lancaster and Cooper," says Gary Bandyopadhyay .
The film, produced by RK Movies and Active Mind, also stars Dipankar De, Shakuntala Barua, Soumili Biswas, June and Mrinal Maliah Mukherjee.