The poster of National Award-winning director Srijit Mukherji's upcoming film, Nirbaak, which also marks Sushmita Sen's Tollywood debut, is based on Spanish painter Salvador Dalí's principles of anthropomorphic surrealism. "I saw a painting of Dali at a museum and I felt the tree has life. The painting has his signature style and elements of anthropomorphic surrealism, where nature somehow morphs into human beings. So, a tree from a distance might somewhat look like the face of a person too. The poster is designed on the basis of Dali's principles of anthropomorphic surrealism. I thought if a tree looks like a person, then it should also have all the human emotions. That's how one of the four stories of Nirbaak developed," says the director.
Nirbaak, which releases on May 1, also stars actor-director Anjan Dutt, Jisshu Sengupta and Ritwik Chakraborty. Mukherji also says that he had always desired to work with the Main Hoon Na actor. "She is a thinking man's heroine. She's very intelligent, articulate, well read and that reflected even when she was doing Biwi No 1. Actresses were mostly required to run around trees and mouth inane lines especially in the stereotype Bollywood films of the 1990s. Sushmita was like a fish out of water. She has a mind of her own. I liked her persona and I wanted to work with her. Nirbaak is an experimental film, which I haven't tried earlier," says the filmmaker, who is occupied with the pre-production work of his second Kakababu film, Paharchuray Aatonko.
Mukherji, who is also busy with the dubbing of his next film, Rajkahini, a period drama, will be in New Delhi on May 3 to receive the National Award from the President. Does he get enough me-time these days? "Be it playing the harmonica for Piku's background score or dubbing with Rituparna Sengupta for Rajkahini, films are my life. Anything remotely related to films falls in me time-space. So, I am not missing my sleep much," he smiles.
Mukherji is also sporting a dishevelled beard these days and he has a valid reason for doing so. "Kamaleshwar da (Mukherjee) asked me to keep a beard for his film, Mahabharat. The film will start any day, so I'm sporting this look. However, I will trim it on May 3 when I attend the ceremony in New Delhi," says the Jaatiswar filmmaker.