Actors want to work with them, contemporary filmmakers envy their box office success and the audience waits for their releases. Yes, we are talking about director duo Shiboprosad Mukhopadhyay and Nandita Roy, who have just announced the subject of their next film, Posto.
After delivering two blockbusters — Bela Seshe (2015) and Praktan (2016) — their new film, which goes on the floor on December 5, will be based on the much-talked about issue of parenting and co-parenting. Like always, the director duo has worked on the subject for a year to ensure that they get the details right.
Apart from their storylines, the director duo is also known for springing surprises with the cast of their films. Bela Seshe brought back the classic Ghaire Baire (1984) pair of Soumitra and Swatilekha Sengupta after 30 years. In Praktan, the directors managed to do the impossible by casting celebrated couple Prosenjit Chatterjee and Rituparna Sengupta after a gap of 15 years. This time the filmmakers have managed a casting coup of sorts by roping in veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee, Lily Chakraborty, Jisshu Sengupta, Mimi Chakraborty, Sohini Sengupta and Paran Bandopadhyay among others.
“We look for different combinations. Mimi is known for doing potboilers. We have always wanted to work with Lilydi and Jisshu,” he says.
The director duo is known for highlighting middle-class issues and sentiments in their earlier films like Alik Sukh, Ramdhanu and Ichche. This film too isn’t any different. “Our new film, Posto, is all about modern-day parenting. It’s interesting how a child grows up today. Today, if both the parents are working then the kid grows up in a different kind of environment. At times, children grow up under the guidance of their grandparents and house helps. Co-parenting or divided guardianship is common in almost every household today,” says Shiboprosad, who plans to shoot the film in Kolkata and Santiniketan.
While Soumitra Chatterjee and Lily Chakraborty play grandparents in the film, Jisshu and Mimi will be seen as a couple. This is not the first time senior actors Soumitra and Lily are working together in a film. They had shared screen space in films such as Ajoy Kar’s Kanch Kata Heere (1966) and Satyajit Ray’s Shakha Proshakha (1990).
Jisshu and Mimi were earlier seen together in Kelor Kirti. Prominent theatre actor Sohini Sengupta, whose performances in Ichche and Alik Sukh garnered a lot of appreciation, will be seen in a pivotal role alongside Paran Bandhopadhyay. Sohini was seen in a cameo in Bela Seshe.
The director considers himself lucky to have got the chance to work with Dadasaheb Phalke Award-winner Soumitra in four films. “Soumitrababu is an international star. We couldn’t be luckier to be working with him,” says the Mukhtodhara and Accident filmmaker.
Music directors Anupam Roy, Anindya Chattopadhyay and Upal Sengupta, who had earlier composed music for Bela Seshe and Praktan, have again been roped in to compose music for this film.
Their last two films have been blockbusters. Do the audiences’ mounting expectations put pressure on them? “The audience wholeheartedly watched our films and it’s their trust that encourages us to experiment with new subjects,” smiles Shiboprosad. The film is eyeing a May 2017 release.