News Bengali

Kaushik Ganguly announces Kaberi Antardhan, set during Emergency, with Prosenjit, Srabanti Chatterjee

The film's announcement was made at Lal Bari, the heritage residence of Sidhartha Shankar Ray, the former chief minister of Bengal, as he was serving his tenure during the Emergency.

Roushni Sarkar

Kaushik Ganguly's upcoming film Kaberi Antardhan, featuring Prosenjit Chatterjee, Srabanti Chatterjee, Kaushik Sen, Ambarish Bhattacharya and Churni Ganguly in important roles, will be set in the Emergency. The period film is a romantic thriller, that will be mostly shot in various locations of North Bengal.

The director chose Lal Bari, the heritage residence of Sidhartha Shankar Ray, the former chief minister of Bengal, to make the announcement as he was serving his tenure during the Emergency. Kaberi Antardhan will be Ganguly’s fourth project with Prosenjit, after Drishtikone (2018), Kishore Kumar Junior (2018) and Jyeshthoputro (2019). Srabanti, who will essay Kaberi, the protagonist of the film, will be working with Ganguly in a feature film for the first time. The actress appeared in Ganguly’s telefilm Chhadmabeshi, as a child actor.

“This a love story. Some over-enthusiastic journalists have already published stories, stating that Prosenjit plays a villain in the film," the director stated. "I want to make it clear to them that now filmmakers from all over the world are coming up with stories that go beyond having hero, heroines and villains. I think it is more interesting that we are attempting to tell stories of common people. Hence, I would request them to not make up such stories, without having the details."

Srabanti and Prosenjit

Ganguly stated that the love story is set in a small town of North Bengal. “The story chronicles relationships from a small town, surrounded by the serene tea-gardens and hills of North Bengal," he shared.

He further added, “There is a historical reason behind making this announcement in this house. The story is set in between the time period of 1975 to 1977, when Emergency was declared and president’s rule followed for the next two years. The draft of Emergency was prepared here in this drawing room.”

“It was a tumultuous period as the then prime of minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was also assassinated in 1975," the director continued about the film's background. “When we attempt to tell a love story of the present time, we also make sure to establish it on the contemporary socio-political context. Similarly, Kaberi Antardhan tells the story of human relationships, equations and love in a context when the country was going through a hostile socio-political situation.”

In the film, Prosenjit will play artiste Arghya, Sen will be playing Kaberi’s brother Mrinmay and Churni will be seen as his wife Nayantara. Bhattachaya will be pairing up with Srabanti as her husband Amiya for the first time in the film. Indraneel Sengupta will be seen as police officer Pritam. The director himself and Indrasis Roy will also be seen in crucial roles.

“I am quite excited with the project because I will finally get to work with Srabanti in a feature film. I was quite young the last time we worked together and she was even younger," Ganguly recalled, who considers Srabanti as an actress of exceptional calibre. "I was quite mesmerised with her performance in Goynar Baksho (2013) and I wished if she had more screen presence in the film."

Prabuddha Banerjee, who previously worked in Ganguly’s Nagarkirtan (2019), Jyeshthoputro and the upcoming Lokkhi Chhele (2020), will be composing music and background score for Kaberi Antardhan.

The team of Kaberi Antardhan

“I think composing music for this film is quite challenging as it has to capture a crucial time period. When I first approached him for composing the music for Nagarkirtan, I naturally assumed use of khol, kartal, flute and other instruments necessary for kirtan. To my surprise, he said none of these will be used and eventually, took the film to a different level with unique ideas and instruments," he said and added that composing music for the film will take Banerjee to his childhood.

Seeking the support of the media, Ganguly said, “Bengali film industry is not in a very good position. It is not making business of crores. Therefore, without the support of media, it is quite difficult to go ahead with our projects. We will be making the necessary announcements about the film, from time to time.”

He also said that in a small place like Kolkata, the relationship between the journalists and the artistes is not really professional, rather it is quite personal.

The director is anticipating the film to release at the end of this year or probably early next year. “I am hoping to make a film that can meet up the expectation of the audience of getting entertained, with ample aesthetic elements required in weaving a romantic thriller. I am quite thrilled to envisage the performances that will be delivered by the actors,” said the director, who claimed not to have disappointed his audience before.

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