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Bridging the gap

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One FROM THE HEART Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury .
One FROM THE HEART Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury .

RANA SIDDIQUI

Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury talks about his debut film “Anuranan” which bagged this year’s National Award for the best Bengali film.

“Anuranan” ran for 100 days at a stretch in Kolkata. In Delhi too, PVR Cinemas screened this Bengali movie to discerning audiences. Much as it reaped appreciation from people for a story convincingly told, the film, also dubbed into Hindi, adds yet another feather to its cap, the National Award for the best film in Bengali. Its director, young Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, says he was barely out of work after screening the film in a host of film festivals across the globe that he heard the news of the prestigious award. “I couldn’t believe it,” says Roy. He is happy that his “first attempt is so well received.”

“What more can I ask for,” he says. The film stars Rahul Bose, Rajat Kapoor, Raima Sen and Rituparna Sengupta.

The film’s story revolves around two Bengali couples played by Rahul and Rituparna , Raima and Rajat Kapoor, and their comfort level with each other. Rahul (Rahul Bose) goes to Sikkim for an architectural project and finds himself in the company of Preeti (Raima Sen). Their literary interests and love for nature bind them. And one morning, Rahul is found dead in his room as Preeti comes visiting him. The servant declares that she was with him that night. It creates a stir in everyone’s life till one day Rituparna finds his recorded voice on the mobile phone that clears all doubt.

On the making

Says Aniruddha, the maker of 300-odd ad films,“The idea came eight years ago when I met a Bengali couple who lived in London but couldn’t live that ‘foreign life’ for long. They then came back to Kolkata in search of their roots. It gave me the idea of making a film on mismatched marriage. The idea matured into making a film on illicit relationship. At the same time, I wanted to bring the ethos of Kolkata and its rooted people into my film.”

“Anuranan” meaning resonance or fondness, has managed to create a debate in the society too, especially in Kolkata where it is being referred to as a mature film with a strong message.

Says the filmmaker, “My point in ‘Anuranan’ is that a reverberation or resonance between two people has no logic. I wanted to ask the audience if there is anything wrong if a married and a loyal husband like Rahul and an equally loyal but lonely wife like Preeti are fond of each other but like someone else too. Can’t you love two people for two different reasons without crossing your limits? Is that immoral?”

Aniruddha shot the film in Kolkata, parts of Sikkim and London on a budget of Rs.1.5 crores.

Talking about life after the award, he says it has, of course, given him “a newfound confidence”. But he owes much of its success to Shemaroo which distributed the film. “I didn’t have money to promote my film despite a good cast. Shemaroo publicised it so much that I got invitations from several film festivals and we had a trendsetter of a sale in Kolkata.”

Now, he is shooting for the film “Antoheen”, yet again with Rahul Bose. It will also feature Aparna Sen.

It will be followed by a film on relationships with Sharmila Tagore, he adds.


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