Srijit Mukherji to remake his Bengali period drama 'Rajkahini' in Hindi; Mahesh Bhatt to co-produce the film
It is official now. National Award winning Bengali director Srijit Mukherji is soon going to make his Bollywood debut. Interestingly, Mukherji will be remaking his latest Bengali period drama ‘Rajkahini’ in Hindi.
Confirming the news, the director said, “Yes talks are on. Mahesh Bhatt will be co-producing the film along with Venkatesh Films.” ‘Rajkahini’ opened to packed theaters across Bengal few days back and has been earning rave reviews from the audience.
Set during the partition period, the film narrates the story of a brothel through which the border of India and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) is set to run through, the film captures the emotions that run through the women living in that brothel. Mukherji managed to include a stellar star cast with almost all prominent faces of Bengali cinema playing integral parts in the film.
Would the Hindi film also have the same star cast, we ask. “No we will have a completely new cast and the story will be tweaked to suit a wider audience,” said Mukherji and added. “‘Rajkahini’ is set in India and East Pakistan. The story of the Hindi remake will be set in Punjab which I feel will add another layer to the story. We will have include events specific to that region- use that language in the film. In fact, to be honest the exodus in that region was at a greater extent. So we will include all that.”
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt has heaped praises on the film, so has Sudhir Mishra. Mukherji though is the happiest that the audience is taking in the film well. “We have received fantastic response from common people. Some places, the film has received standing ovation. Many films have though dealt with the history of partition. I guess, ‘Rajkahini’ is being loved for its emotional connect,” said the director whose film ‘Chotushkone’ fetched him the National Film Best Director Award earlier this year.
Shot near the Jharkhand border and in Shiuri district of West Bengal, the star cast of ‘Rajkahini’ had to undergo vigorous training before they begand shooting for the film. “They had to undergo physical training and learn the dialect, understand the mannerism of that era well,” revealed the director.
‘Rajkahini’ is a female oriented film with women playing central characters. At a time when women-centric films are being well received by the audience, is it still a risk to make a film focusing on women? “It is definitely a risk,” admits Mukherji and adds, “While I agree many such films have worked, there are also many which haven’t. I just try to push the envelope. If I don’t make films of different genres I will get bored myself.”
When asked on which film he is working on next, Mukherji did not want to divulge too much details but said he is considering to narrate a story about the underworld in Kolkata. “It may not be that popular or glamorized like it is in Mumbai, but it is very much present,” said the filmmaker.
‘Rajkahini’ will get an all-India release on 6th November and features actors like Rituparna Sengupta, Jisshu Sengupta, Parno Mitra, Saswata Chatterjee, Kaushik Sen and others. The film will be also screened at the upcoming Mumbai Film Festival.
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