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Bob Biswas director on Kali Da spin-off and similarities with John Wick: ‘We wanted to keep his store similar to the one in John Wick’

Bob Biswas director Diya Annapurna Ghosh talked about the creation of a new Bob Biswas for the film, the similarities with John Wick and if there is going to be another film in the series.

Written by Sampada Sharma | New Delhi |
December 10, 2021 8:18:48 am
abhishek bachchanAbhishek Bachchan played the titular role in Bob Biswas.

When Diya Annapurna Ghosh was tasked with the responsibility of directing the much-awaited Bob Biswas spin-off, actor Abhishek Bachchan was already on board and for a first-time director, this was a lot of pressure. “There was a lot of pressure. Because there were so many big names connected to this – Red Chillies Entertainment, even my dad (Sujoy Ghosh) for that matter, so it was a lot of pressure but I think you just have to keep a steady mind to get over it,” shared Diya in a conversation with indianexpress.com. Diya is the daughter of famed writer-director Sujoy Ghosh, who first wrote the character of Bob Biswas for his film Kahaani in 2012. For the spin-off, Sujoy returned as the writer but Diya helmed the project.

Diya explained that in Bob Biswas, they wanted to explore “how he became who he is” and “did not want to do the same thing as Kahaani”. In trying to make his character more wholesome, Diya shared that they wanted a “different Bob Biswas altogether”. “We tried to make the character a little bit more humanised. As you know, we are all grey. We gave him a family to make sure that you would root for him. He has something to care about. We should be able to see that side of him as well, along with the killing side,” she said.

Bob is dealing with memory loss in the film but as we see him assembling his gun, it appears that his muscle memory has sprung back into action. When he shoots the singer next-door, Bob seems to have no moral qualms about it, as opposed to the rest of the film where he is in a moral conundrum over his actions. “With the gun assembly, we wanted to show as a muscle memory moment where he actually remembers how to do it. Even though he has forgotten everything through the coma, it is within him. We wanted to show it more in the sense of like ‘it is what he is’. That is who he is as a human being.” Diya explained that she sees Bob as an “anti-hero” who is inherently not a good person.

Soon after the release of the film, requests regarding another spin-off on Kali Da have emerged online. Played by Paran Bandopadhyay, Kali Da left the audience pleasantly surprised. However, the character and his store was quite reminiscent of John Wick’s concierge at the Continental Hotel. Diya shared that the similarity was intentional. “We wanted to keep his store similar to the one in John Wick. We wanted him to be very loving (but also) to keep him a little bit mysterious.”

The casting of Abhishek Bachchan in the titular role left many puzzled. Since Saswata Chatterjee played the character originally and left a lasting impression, we asked Diya what prompted Abhishek’s casting. To this, she said, “That is a writer’s question. I think I don’t have a say in this.”

Bob Biswas ends on a mysterious note. As Abhishek’s character is in the cemetery, his MotoRazr pings and he receives a photo of Vidya Balan’s Vidya Bagchi (from Kahaani). As per the film’s timeline, the characters met eight years ago when Vidya first visited Kolkata. So what does this end mean for Bob and Vidya? Diya hinted that we might be looking at another sequel here. When asked how the end fits into Bob and Vidya’s story, Diya said, “That you will have to wait and see.” Is this the introduction of the Kahaani universe? Guess the audience will have to “wait and see”.

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