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Ranjan Ghosh wraps up shooting for Mahishasur Marddini

The film, conceived as a letter of apology to women who have been wronged, stars Rituparna Sengupta, Saswata Chatterjee and Parambrata Chatterjee.

Roushni Sarkar

Filmmaker Ranjan Ghosh has finished shooting for his upcoming project Mahishasur Marddini, starring Rituparna Sengupta, Saswata Chatterjee and Parambrata Chatterjee.

The director had to face big challenges to shoot the story of a single night, completing the work over two legs with a gap of five months in between on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mahishasur Marddini has been conceived as a letter of apology to the women who have been wronged.

Ghosh, who completed the first draft of the screenplay for the film around October 2019, was supposed to begin shooting for the project in March last year. But the pandemic-induced countrywide lockdown caused him to postpone his plan.

“Eventually we started shooting in February this year," the writer-director said on Friday 13 August. "We had to shoot some portions in February, but the second lockdown again postponed the process. Finally, we could wrap up the shooting yesterday.

“Both Saswata-da and Param really enjoyed the shooting process and were repeatedly asking me to complete the filming so that they could start the dubbing,” the director added. Mahishasur Marddini also features Saheb Bhattacharya and Poulomi Das in crucial roles.

The film has a primary cast of 40 and Ghosh spent sleepless nights worrying about the possibility of any of them going through any physical transformation or facing other uncertainties as it would hamper the continuity of shooting a story of a single night.

“Meanwhile, Ritu-di got COVID, another actress got infected, too," he said. "I was under constant pressure and used to tell my actors to stay indoors as much as they could.” Even the idol of the goddess used in the film was damaged by rodents and had to be mended.

 “When I was in film school, I always heard that making a film is almost like going to war,” recollected Ghosh. “I generally hear people saying they are having a ball during a shoot but I always had a war-like experience.” Naturally, the director is relieved that the process has ended, and ended well. According to him, none of his previous films — Hrid Majharey (2014), Rong Beronger Korhi (2018) or Ahaa Re (2019) — was mounted on this scale.

The team of Mahishasur Marddini

“Another challenging factor was that we had to shoot the entire film at a single location," he said. "It was quite difficult to not turn the film, based on the turn of events in a single night at the same location, boring. Technically, the process was quite hectic, but everyone is happy at the end of the work.”