System: First Bengali film on Kolkata underworld
The film will blaze the trail with the various layers of the dark underbelly of Kolkata.
Kolkata: Making the first Bengali film on the underworld modus operandi in the eastern metropolis, based on interviews with real life convicts and undertrials, young director Ringo plans to show the human side of the gangsters who always live life on the edge.
Titled 'System', the film will blaze the trail of a new genre in Tollywood where the various layers of the dark underbelly of Kolkata - the world of crime where life is cheap and money is easy - is unravelled.
"System details the methodology, the three-four layers of the system from the very top down to the lowest rung and those having a stake in it including the undercover cops," Ringo, whose film features Indraneil Sengupta, Rajesh Sharma and Sabyasachi Chakraborty among others, told PTI.
"I visited the Presidency Jail in the city which houses many key case convicts, interacted with at least seven jailed gangsters. I also spoke to the ace crime reporters here, whom you might dub as the 'local J Deys', having thorough knowledge of the local underworld. And I have talked to cops at different levels and perused the case diaries. The film will bring forth many episodes in the past which you can relate to but again zoom on the cerebral aspect of the incidents rather than the gory part," said the maker of hit films like 'Kranti', 'Jodi Ekdin' and 'Risk'.
"The undercover cops, who happen to be on both sides of the law, the sharp edge they tread along while befriending the gangsters to know future plans, also have a prominent part in this film as no crime story of Kolkata can be complete sans them. Their role had not been explored previously. These references lend authenticity to the film which loosely follows a story line with a bar singer as the love interest of a mafia don - chipped in for cinematic reasons," Ringo said.
But the director says that the film is not another 'Company' or 'Once Upon a Time in Mumbai'.
"Every director's film - say Ram Gopal Verma's trilogy comprising Satya, Company and D - revolves around his own vision and study of the characters and situation. You can't equate 'System' with them, but it is definitely a lot more psychological and unprecedented in Tollywood history," Ringo said.
The director also said that 'System' is bound to be different from Bollywood gangster films since the Kolkata underworld does not follow the same methods or hierarchy.
"The working of the under world is different in Kolkata which I sought to replicate as much as possible in the film," he said.
On actor Indraneil, whose roles in 'Arekti Premer Galpo' (Just Another Love Story), 'Janala' and 'Autograph' got rave reviews, Ringo said, "Indraneil essays the role of a mafia don and it has to be seen to believe how he acted his part, picking up the mannerism, body language and even antics of a gangster."
"He is the hero, but not the typical commercial one."
On Rajesh Sharma, now a familiar name in Bollywood with his recent roles in 'No One Killed Jessica' and 'Chillar Party', Ringo said, "Rajesh is an undercover cop, who is ruthless with no scruples."
Even Sabyasachi, another undercover agent on the wrong side of law with certain ethics unlike Sharma, was very realistic in the character, Ringo said.
"Once I explained the situation, there was no need to tell these people what was required of them and they knew their part."
The movie, expected to be a trilogy with Ringo planning a prequel and a sequel charting out the notoriety and ruthlessness of the underworld through the system, has a car chase sequence shot in Thailand besides extensive locales of Kolkata.