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Kolkata boy’s film exploring Tagore through Salvador Dali’s style makes it to Cannes

This is the first feature film of Aneek Chaudhuri and was made on a shoestring budget.

kolkata Updated: May 15, 2017 13:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Tagore,Salvador Dali,Kolkata
Still from the film Streer Potro based on a story by Tagore with the same name.(HT Photo)

A film by a 24-year-old Kolkata boy that tries to express the simplicity of Rabindranath Tagore through the complex style of Salvador Dali, has made it to the Cannes film festival’s Marche du Films section.

Marche du Film is the business counterpart of the coveted festival and is considered one of the largest film markets in the world.

Read: Cannes rewind: Here’s how Aishwarya Rai’s look evolved in the past 15 years

Aneek Chaudhuri’s 143-minute film, shot largely at a palatial house in Canning in South 24-Parganas district, apart from Kolkata and New Delhi, has be scheduled for screening on May 17, the opening day, as part of producer Alder and Associates Entertainment’s line-up at the festival.

The director chose a story by Tagore which was written in the form of letters from a wife to her husband. Apart from mentioning a number of social evils such as caste divisions and child marriage, the story also provides a definition of selfhood. ( HT Photo )

The film, titled Streer Potro (The Wife’s Letter), is loosely themed on Tagore’s famous short story of the same name. It was shot in about 12 days and at a budget of Rs 10 lakh.

“The text of Streer Potro has been loosely used as the plot but the form of surrealism dominates the work. Protagonist is named X and he is trying to relate himself to a particular constant, which he is failing to find,” Chaudhuri said.

Read: In pics: When Air India presented Surrealist Salvador Dali an elephant

According to him, the story in the film revolves around the central idea that ‘mathematics is never sufficient to prove the validity of verbal language and emotions’. The director describes the film as ‘Harsh, dark, sarcastic, sensuous and painful’.

“To put it simple, emotions are better deciphered when not calculated. Manipulations cannot compensate for emotions,” he said.

Read: The hottest looks for the 2017 Cannes red carpet. See pics

Hailing from Kolkata, Chaudhuri relocated to New Delhi and joined a corporate job, only to quit it to pursue filmmaking.

Premiered at Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute in October last year, the film was screened at Hamilton Film Festival in Canada in November and the European Film Market during Berlinale in February this year.

“The film actually tries to find a way of balancing between life’s complexities and its basic simplicity. Here, Dali’s surrealism represents the complexities through which I have tried to reach the life’s simplicities that Tagore unearthed and hailed,” Chaudhuri, a film graduate from New Delhi, said.

First Published: May 15, 2017 13:24 IST