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Saheb Chatterjee to play Tagore in Ujjwal Chatterjee's Nalini


The Hindi-English-Bengali period film will depict the great poet’s romance with Annapurna.

Roushni Sarkar

Bengali actor Saheb Chatterjee is all set to play Rabindranath Tagore in National Award winning director Ujjwal Chatterjee’s Nalini. The trilingual feature film will be produced by actress Priyanka Chopra.

The Hindi-English-Bengali period film will depict the great poet’s romance with Annapurna. While Marathi actress Vaidehi Parshurami will be seen as Nailini, veteran actors Soumitra Chatterjee and Victor Banerjee will be seen in important roles. Artistes Madhav Abhyankar, Seema Deshmukh, Sukhada Khandkekar and Angad Mhaskar will also be essaying distinguished roles in the film.

Chatterjee said in an interview with Mumbai Mirror, a tabloid, said, “It was a platonic love story and the film will narrate it from the point of view of a young student who visits modern-day Santiniketan and sees a picture of Annapurna captioned ‘Nalini’.”

In 1878, before his first visit to England, Tagore stayed at Dr Atmaram Pandurang’s residence in Bombay. Atmaram’s daughter Annapurna had just returned from England and was well acquainted with English etiquettes and language. Therefore, she was appointed as Tagore’s tutor.

Tagore, who was only 17 then, fell in love with Annapurna and on her insistence gave her the name Nalini. Later, Tagore immortalised her in many of his poems.

Chatterjee received the required permission from Visva Bharati University in December for the film after he submitted three drafts of the script and they mutually agreed on removing one intimate scene between Nalini and Tagore. The director initially wanted to make the film in English with Priyanka Chopra, however, that did not materialise.

“I have discussed it with Madhu ma’am (Priyanka Chopra’s mother and partner) and while we’re taking the film on the floors in September, the candid shots will begin in July as we require rains for some important sequences in the film,” the director said to Mumbai Mirror.

The team is currently working on the pre-production and Chatterjee will soon begin the workshops with the artistes. The film will be shot in Jorasanko, Shantiniketan and Maharashtra.

Actress-turned-producer Chopra has earlier backed Marathi film Ventilator (2016), that won three National Awards; Bhojpuri film Bam Bam Bol Raha Hai Kashi (2016) and Punjabi film Sarvann (2017), among others.