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It's been privilege to work with a host of accomplished actors, says Jhora Palok actress Jaya Ahsan

Ahsan plays both poet Jibanananda Das's wife Labanyaprabha Das and the character of Surangana, an eminent filmmaker from the present time, in Sayantan Mukherjee's Jhora Palok, starring Bratya Basu

Roushni Sarkar

The trailer of Jhora Palok, based on Mallyaban, Jibanananda Das’s controversial semi-autobiographical novel, was launched in the presence of director Sayantan Mukherjee, producer Pawan Kanodia, actress Jaya Ahsan, and film and theatre director Suman Mukhopadhyay on 25 December.

In the film, Bratya Basu plays Das, who is considered to be the greatest Bengali poet of the post-Tagore era, while Ahsan plays his wife Labanyaprabha Das as well as the character of Surangana, an eminent filmmaker from the present time.

Jhora Palok, which was also the title of Das’s first collection of poems, has been selected for the Bengali Panorama section of the 27th Kolkata International Film Festival. The film features Kanodia, Rahul Banerjee, Kaushik Sen, Debshankar Halder, Biplab Mukherjee, Santilal Mukherjee, Sreela Majumdar, Padmanabha Dasgupta.

Mukherjee started shooting the film in 2018 and the shoot was wrapped up in 2019. Due to the pandemic, the release of the film got delayed.

"Jhora Palok is based on Mallyaban, Jibanananda Das’s extremely controversial and widely discussed semi-autobiographical novel. There have been more attempts to make Mallyaban before but in vain. I feel lucky and privileged to have the support of Pawan Kanodia,” he said. 

Kanodia’s collection of poems, Main Aur Meri Shayari, was also launched at the event. According to the director, the poetic soul of the producer could see the potential of the film and through the event, tribute was paid to a poet by another.

Ahsan said, “It’s been a privilege to work with such accomplished actors in the film. I have portrayed two characters in two timelines, and I hope the performances will be loved by all."

According to Mukhopadhyay, Das’s creative and marital life was full of complexities; and hence, it is a rather difficult subject to adapt for the screen. “I saw the first cut of the film long back and it felt like a well-enacted film,” the director said. “I have not seen the final version but I sincerely hope that the people of Bengal will appreciate this brave attempt made by both the director and the producer.”

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Kolkata International Film Festival