New film fictionalises Lord Curzon’s journey

A Bengali film is bringing back Lord Curzon in a fantasy tale on the silver screen. “ Curzoner Kalom [Curzon’s Pen] is a fictional account of Lord Curzon leaving behind his pen after inaugurating a Durga Puja at a bonedi [affluent] household of North Kolkata in 1905 and the events unfolding later on,” director Souvik Mitra said.

Reviving the era of ‘Bango Bhango’ (Partition of Bengal) in 1905, the film will visit the tumultuous days with scenes of agitation outside the fictional Zamindar household as Curzon comes to inaugurate the Durga Puja, Mr. Mitra said. Rare still footage of the period and graphics will be merged to give it an authentic look.

“The background will reverberate with ‘Go back Curzon’ slogans raised by ‘swadeshis’ and sounds of protests against splitting of Bengal as we sought to recapture the era, but what better way than setting it in the time of the heady days of partition,” the director said.

‘Two key features’

“We have sought to combine two important features that troubled the Bengali psyche — one is the festering wound of dividing a State having people who share the same food, speak the same language and sing the same melodies. The other feature revolves round a Bengali’s sentimental attachment to the Durga Puja,” Mr. Mitra said.

An Englishman will essay the role of Lord Curzon, while actor Saheb Bhattacharya will enact a young member of the aristocratic Mitra household of North Kolkata. The other half of the film will be set in contemporary times when a pen, left behind by Curzon in October 1905, is discovered from an obscure corner of the mansion. — PTI