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Mirroring social upheaval in Bengal's political landscape

Director Sudipto Dey's debut venture Sirshendu's Diary is set in the time when political powers changed hands in Kolkata and narrates the story of filmmaker Sirshendu Roy.

regional movies Updated: Jun 03, 2015 18:53 IST
Shreya Mukherjee
Shreya Mukherjee
Hindustan Times
Sudipto Dey,Sirshendu's Diary,Sirshendu Roy

Director Sudipto Dey's debut venture Sirshendu's Diary is set in the time when political powers changed hands in Kolkata and narrates the story of filmmaker Sirshendu Roy.

The film, a political thriller, is shot extensively in Kolkata and its outskirts and stars Soumitro Chatterjee, Meghna Halder, Debraj Ray, Papiya Sen and the director himself in key roles.

When Sirshendu, played by Dey, goes missing, the police find his diary at a railway station near Kolkata. The diary reveals a lot about what disturbed the filmmaker and why. As police investigate the case they come across more interesting facts.

"It disturbs me how the growing political atrocities and terrorism harms common people. Every other day violence leads to the death of the poor and needy, rapes have become common. The political fight to reach the top is harming the poor villagers. Is this the democracy we wanted? My film highlights this aspect of the society," says Dey, who is also the writer and producer of the film.

According to Dey, the same scenario affects a creative individual like Sirshendu Roy. "Like everyone else he also tries to react and faces barriers while doing the same. People who support and inspire him are his wife Ruby Roy (Meghna Halder), close friend Firoz Ahmed's father Zaheer Ahmed (Soumitro Chatterjee) and theatre personality and press owner Manik Babu (Debraj Ray)," says the director, who is a self-confessed Alfred Hitchcock fan.

Dey, who shot the film in 2013, is facing a lot of obstacles in releasing the film. In 2014, the censor board refused to clear the film citing offensive language and scenes. The film then couldn't find a place at Nandan. "After getting clearance from the censor board, I approached Nandan for the release. They kept delaying and said the new government isn't happy with the content. Finding no way out, I am releasing the film at Indira on June 6," says Dey hoping that the audience will like the film.

Meghna Halder has featured in films like Jamai 420 in the past.

Talking about the film, Meghna says that it's the films serious subject that made her take up the project. "I was keen on doing something different, unlike the usual dance and song routine. So when Sudipto Dey approached me for Sirshendu's Diary and narrated the story, I couldn't say no. Moreover, he was my teacher at the National Institute of Film and Fine Arts (NIFFA) and I know how good he is at his job," says Halder.

Meanwhile Meghna, who is currently shooting for Gandhigiri in Lucknow with Om Puri and Sanjay Mishra, says that it's a learning experience working with Puri and Mishra. Directed by Sanoj Kumar Mishra, Meghna plays Jayanti. She is the second lead in Gandhigiri and is cast opposite Sanjay Mishra. "In between shots, I try and sit with Omji and Sanjayji and talk to them on various topics. I am also trying to learn the nuances of acting from them. They are very cooperative and are always ready to help," adds Meghna. The actor will be shooting till June 6 and then come back to Kolkata and start work on her Bengali films. She was last seen in a cameo in Jamai 420. Gandhigiri is expected to release in November this year. Meanwhile, Meghna is also in talks for another Bollywood venture but she is not ready to divulge details yet.

First Published: Jun 03, 2015 18:24 IST