Tollywood superstar, Prosenjit Chatterjee, who is portraying the central character in Srijit Mukherjee’s upcoming flick Yeti Obhijaan, which is inspired by Pahar Churaye Aatonko from author Sunil Gangopadhyay’s adventure series Kakababu, feels that half of the directors do not makes films based on literature because they are scared of the comparison between the two.
In an exclusive chat with , the actor opined on whether a film should be compared with a book or not, “I feel it (comparison) has always been done. I remember, when Chokher Bali was released, there was a lot of criticism revolving around the film. A director makes a film inspired by a book because he has liked the story. When he makes a film out of a story, he presents it in his own language because he too has his own perspective and style of presentation because he is the director and you can’t deny that. So, I think one shouldn’t be worried about this issue because the renowned filmmakers too have faced comparison issues when they made films inspired by novels, books, literature. It happened during the time of Ritu (Rituparno Ghosh) as well. So, that is not a big issue. But the strange part is when films like Devdas and Parineeta are being made in Bombay (Mumbai), nobody questions. I wonder why (some) people make a fuss when directors in Bengal try to create something on the same line. When directors in Bengal make the attempt, the criticism becomes the main point of discussion not the cinema. You know, this is the reason why half of the filmmakers are scared of making films based on literature!”
For the uninitiated, Devdas is based on Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel Devdas and Parineeta is adaptation of the novella, Parineeta by the same author.
Chatterjee, who earned critical acclaim for his performance in many Bengali flicks, also mentioned that they have worked really hard on Yeti Obhijaan to justify the story. He also feels that the late Sunil Gangopadhyay must have been happy to see his Kakababu series being adopted into films.
He said, “when we decided to make three Kakababu films consecutively, we had the visuals in our mind. If one reads Kakababu well, one would know, it’s not a detective character; it’s an adventurous and larger than life character. So, right in the beginning we made sure that the films have to be big and made in such a way that the readers can see the characters and events they have read about come alive!”
“In fact, after returning to Kolkata, I was telling our team that Sunilda had sketched the character of Kakababu for books, not films but how happy he would have been to see that a team from Kolkata went to Glacier 3000 in Switzerland to shoot the film in order to justify his story. Although, the film and the book can never give you the same feeling because a film is a film and a book is a book, we have tried to be very honest with the story. Mishawr Rohoshyo was successful. I hope this one too would be a nice experience,” he added.
Prosenjit gave many hits by collaborating with Srijit like Autograph, Baishe Srabon, Mishawr Rawhoshyo.Autograph being his first film with the director, when quizzed how his equation with Srijit has grown over the years, he said, “It’s like a marriage. When you get married you have no idea whether the equation will continue for a year or 10 years. If it has to work, it will work. When I did Autograph with Srijit, I did not know that we will come this far.”
His collaboration with the late filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh, also resulted into making of masterpieces like Chokher Bali and Dosar. Talking about both the filmmakers, he said, “Ritu knew me well. He gave birth to a new Prosenjit. Srijit too understands me a lot. I believe and always say one thing, ‘ekta notun Prosenjit er jonmo data hochhe Rituparno Ghosh ar taake lalon palon korche Srijit Mukherji’.”
Also starring Jisshu U Sengupta and Aryann, Yeti Obhijaan is slated to release on 22 September.