Unveiling a Unique Durga Puja Film: Nandita Roy and Shiboprasad's Thrilling Tale

This year's Durga Puja has a unique flavour, as Nandita Roy and Shiboprasad Mukherjee have ventured into uncharted territory. There are several reasons behind this fresh approach. Firstly, they are releasing a film during Puja for the first time. Secondly, they have delved into the thriller genre for the first time. Their film's setting has shifted from the confines of their home to a grand scale, and for the first time, the story involves the country's former President, Pranab Mukherjee.

Creating a character for a historical figure in film demands distinctiveness, setting the character apart from reality. Nandita and Shiboprasad have done just that. In their story, the character inspired by Pranab Mukherjee goes by the name "Animesh." In the film, Animesh is depicted sitting in a wheelchair, separated from his sister. In reality, there was no such sibling relationship with Pranab Mukherjee. However, this fictional family dynamic doesn't interfere with the film's storytelling.

Over time, Nandita and Shiboprasad have reduced the number of projects they take on, which might raise questions about their choices. When asked about this, Nandita replied, "Shibu manages it all. But I told him, 'Let's see what happens. What more can we do? Just say a strong 'no.' The day before Doli, I sent a message. I had seen no response. The next day, at 11 in the morning, I got a reply. I mustered the courage to call and introduce myself. I asked if they had heard of us or seen any of our films. He said, 'If I hadn't heard or known, I wouldn't have received a response to the message.' I then talked about the film. In the end, he signed the contract. He is a highly professional person."

Their film "Raktabeej" was intricately tied to the Khagragarh explosion in 2014. The story they crafted revolved around that incident. It is evident that portraying a historical figure requires a certain level of separation from reality to shape the character effectively. Nandita and Shiboprasad have done exactly that. Their portrayal of Pranab Mukherjee as "Animesh" is an intriguing narrative choice.

Durga Puja is traditionally associated with "Raktabeej," and this year, Nandita and Shibprasad's film adds a new dimension to the festivities. The film's premiere will coincide with Puja for the first time, allowing the entire family to enjoy their creation together. With four Bengali films releasing during Puja, is there any fear of competition? Nandita confidently responds, "Saptami, Ashtami, Nabami, and Dashami. Audiences will watch four films in four days. What's there to fear?"

Their new film explores a significant portion of its narrative within the confines of a central location, much like a thriller. Yet, Nandita and Shiboprasad have ventured outdoors to shoot extensively. The film features numerous action sequences, encompassing elements of terrorism, thriller, and mystery, while at its core remaining a family drama. The film addresses the clash between the central government and the state government, a crucial part of the narrative. Did they have any concerns regarding censorship from the censor board? Nandita explained, "While writing, I put my thoughts down freely as an artist. I believed that whatever happened later, we would deal with it. Shibu had a plan B ready in many places. The censor board has been very supportive, and we can't say that this film will receive an 'A' certificate."

In the midst of the Durga Puja fervour, "Raktabeej" holds a special place, and so Nandita and Shiboprasad have made their Puja special by releasing their film. With their collective team, they are excited about the premiere of their film during Puja. When so many years have been spent delivering beautiful narratives to the audience, it's only fitting that they feel a sense of ownership over their film. It's a film that aligns with the essence of being Bengali—Durga Puja, the story of a national leader, and the return home. Their signature style is unmistakably present, and it's likely that audiences will cherish it once again.

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