Director Subhrajit Mitra has started shooting for his new film, Chorabaali, based on Agatha Christie's celebrated novel, Cards on the Table. The director also has plans of turning it into a series. Ask Mitra, which other novels of Agatha Christie's is he planning to adapt on the big screen, and he says, "I would love to adapt Evil Under the Sun and Murder on the Orient Express. But I need to register the series to adapt them into films," says the director of Mon Amour: Shesher Kobita Revisited (2008).
Mitra has already roped in actor Barun Chanda to play detective Hercule Poirot, one of Agatha Christie's most popular creations, for his film. Chanda, who made his debut in Satyajit Ray's Seemabaddha, will be playing a professor of criminology in the film. "I am not replicating Poirot on the big screen. Barun da won't be sporting a military moustache like Poirot. I will be using a few of his traits. The basic premise of the story remains the same, but I have taken creative liberty while making the film. Every director has his own interpretation while adapting a book on the big screen," says Mitra.
Shataf Figar will be playing superintendent Battle, a detective with the Scotland Yard and Tanushree Chakraborty will be stepping into the shoes of writer Ariadne Oliver. "Tanushree's character will be a lot like Agatha Christie meets Jhumpa Lahiri. June Malia will be playing the head of a television channel, while Locket Chatterjee will play a depressed actress. Dipanjan plays a wildlife photographer," says Mitra.
Interestingly, filmmaker Tathagata Banerjee, who directed Sesh Anko, will play a doctor (modeled on the character of Dr Roberts) in the film. Dibyendu of Catus will be composing the music.
Why did he decide to adapt Cards on the Table into a film? "I have read a few books on criminal psychology. This isn't an ordinary thriller. From a writer to a journalist, actress and a doctor, people from different walks of life are involved in this story," he says.
Sayani Dutta, who plays a model and is into a live-in relationship with actress Malobika Banerjee in the film, posted on Facebook, "Ok people, I need your best wishes I have Started shooting for my sixth film CHORABAALI today." (sic)
Mitra had directed his last film, Agun Pakhi, starring Rituparna Sengupta almost five years ago. However, the film never released and Mitra got busy making documentaries. He made a documentary on the contribution of the BSF in the Bangladesh Liberation War. He also directed documentaries for National Geographic.
What took him so long to direct another film? "Honestly, after Agun Pakhi, I didn't want to work with a financer any more. I wanted to work with a proper producer who would have knowledge about films. Also, I wasn't ready to direct a film under any chit fund company. I declined an offer even after doing the recce in north Bengal. I don't want to be part of dubious projects," he says.