‘Bhooter Bhabishyat is born out of a sense of loss’

Anik Dutta’s Bhooter Bhabishyat,a delightfully entertaining film,is drawing a full house in every theatre even in its third week.

Written by Shoma A. Chatterji | Published: April 13, 2012 5:21:28 pm

Anik Dutta’s Bhooter Bhabishyat,a delightfully entertaining film,is drawing a full house in every theatre even in its third week.

What does Bhooter Bhabishyat mean? Bhoot also means ‘past’ so how does this bhoot merge into the concept of bhabishyat?

Bhooter Bhabishyat can also mean ‘Future of the past / ghost’. There is a sense of loss in me that Kolkata,with its strong character,that I grew up in is disappearing and giving way to a nondescript city – much like any other city,most of which look the same today. There is a homogenising effect all over the world as a result of globalisation where you lose your sense of history,identity and heritage.

Tell us something about your background.

I was inclined towards visual arts from a very young age and developed a keen interest in cinema by the time I was in college. I landed up in the audiovisual department of HTA (now JWT). Apart from writing some scripts and supervising films commissioned to front- line advertising filmmakers in Mumbai,I began directing corporate films and promos for the agency’s clients to hone my skills. In the early ’90s,I became an independent filmmaker,primarily working in advertising films.

How was the journey like?

Grand old mansions of Kolkata are being razed to the ground to make way for swank condominiums,malls and multiplexes. Some of these dilapidated heritage buildings were haunted by ghosts who had taken shelter over centuries. They are being evicted and are homeless today. Chowdhuribari is one such ‘disputed’ property taken over by a promoter. Bulldozers are about to move in. This palatial house is also rented out for film shoots to facilitate its maintenance. A heroine faints during a shooting,allegedly sighting a ghost in a mirror. A filmmaker on a reconnaissance trip to the building gets to hear of a spooky story from a man who suddenly emerges from inside. But is it just a tall tale or is there a twist in the ‘tail’?

What kind of music did you conceive for your film?

It is an eclectic mix,ranging from Rabindra Sangeet to Rock to Niddhubabu’s toppa,to qawwali,to bhatiyali to Bhojpuri,to old Scottish tunes to Kananbala-like old numbers. The background music is inspired by Satyajit Ray,R.C.(Rai Chand Baral),R.D.Burman,Hitchcock and many others because the ghosts in my film belong to different time-zones and have a history of their own.

Where did you shoot the film?

My main location was Serampur Rajbari. Some portions were shot at Laha Bari in Kolkata. A few other indoor and outdoor locations were shot in and around Kolkata.

Is the audience response thrilling?

I had confidence but did not expect such wide appreciation from all quarters.

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