With the pandemic outbreak, we have been hooked to our mobile and laptop screens, binge-watching series and films. All the big banner films are going for digital release. We can find our favourite movie at our fingertips. Our love for the ‘blast from the past’ movies has not decreased either. Some films from the past are worth reliving. Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee’s Muktodhara is one such film.
The director duo is known for their successful movies and for telling stories in the most inspiring way possible. One of their early films, “Mukhtodhara” had hit the big screen on 3rd August 2012. The film had Rituparna Sengupta and Gotro’s leading man, Nigel Akkara, in the lead. Shiboprosad Mukherjee also played the part of a jail inmate. It is the first film in the history of Indian cinema to be made on culture therapy. Nigel Akkara, who debuted in Muktodhara, is an ex-convict and went through culture therapy. He played the lead role of a convict going through cultural therapy quite impeccably. Culture therapy talks about the tiny streak of hope, positivity amidst the negative situations that the prisoners face. The therapy, which brought a complete metamorphosis in the convicts and enabled them to alter their lives altogether, was the most crucial part of the film. Culture therapy was initially started by then IPS B.D.Sharma in West Bengal. Dancer Alokananda Roy assisted him. They successfully instilled change in many convicts. Later the court released the convicts on the grounds of goodwill and conduct.
The film had created history and was a big hit during its time. Nandita-Shiboprosad’s Mukhtodhara set a new benchmark for films and the film received an overwhelming response from the audience. The film completes eight glorified years and still has the same impact on us every time we see it.
Director duo Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee, the eminent filmmakers of Bengali film industry, have always entertained their fans with socially relevant content. Interestingly, all of their superhit films were released in May. Lockdown has affected the film industry in many ways as many film releases were stalled for an indefinite period. Among the films that did not release was also Nandita-Shiboprosad’s Belashuru. There are several interesting facts about the director duo’s summer releases.
It all started with Ramdhanu, which marks its 6th anniversary today, was the first-ever film in Bengal to emphasize on child’s education and how its pressure can bog them down. Shiboprosad Mukherjee played one of the lead characters in the film, portraying the perfect Bengali husband and father. Ramdhanu, which released in 2014, is one of the first films to talk about modern-day parenting issues. Needless to say, it is relevant even after six years of its theatrical release.
With summer being a season that has been always been looked down upon, the filmmakers were sceptical about releasing their films amidst the scorching heat. Nandita – Shiboprosad’s films did not get proper shows at the theatres initially, but they started breaking box office records with their content and now reigns the summer season at the box office.
Belaseshe, which became a blockbuster in 2015. Belaseshe is regarded as one of the major milestones in Bengali cinema which changed the way of modern storytelling. As Nandita-Shiboprosad decided to make a film on silver separation, many said, this won’t be a good idea. A film with an ‘old couple’ in the lead could have been disastrous. However, after the release, the film had a glorious run of 217 days in the multiplex. The director duo, who won’t compromise ever with content, didn’t ever look back.
The following year Praktan released, which became immensely successful. Again, a straight away sixer from the duo. This time, with the onscreen power couple, Rituparna Sengupta and Prosenjit Chatterjee, Praktan became one of the highest-grossing films in Tollywood’s history. One of the theatre owners told Mukherjee, “Your films will increase my investment in bathroom cleaners as families are the major audience for your films and they prefer using the washrooms while at the theatre.” It was a joke and a sweet truth nevertheless. Some even mockingly added, “Your films will increase the cost of lift maintenance”, as the crowd didn’t have any age bars and children as well as the old ones filled up the theatres. The duo drew crowds to the theatres with two consecutive blockbusters and the legacy continued.
In the year 2017, they released ‘Posto’. The film featuring a cute little boy, Argha Basu Roy, along with Soumitra Chattopadhyay, Jishu Sengupta, Mimi Chakraborty and Lily Chakraborty in important characters, became a straightaway superhit film. Theatre owners were skeptical about the film as it was releasing alongside Bahubali. They even granted shows with one condition — if the film failed to draw the crowd, the shows would go to the big-budget multilingual film. Interestingly, while no biggies could ever challenge the mighty Bahubali, the little Posto did that with quite an ease. Posto opened with houseful shows and all the debates were laid to rest.
Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee are known for making films that touch million hearts. The following year after Posto, they came up with Haami, with two little cute actors, Brata Banerjee as Bhutu and Tiyasha Paul as Chini. Bhutu and Chini became a sensation overnight. For the first time in Bengali cinema, a film with two little kids in the lead ruled box office for months. Haami ensured packed theatres for two months at a stretch. The film also marked the beginning of Haami Films, a wing from Windows, to produce films and contents for kids.
The director duo released their dream project, Konttho, in the year 2019. Much different from their usual family drama, the film talks about a radio jockey suffering from Laryngeal cancer. With such a serious topic, many were concerned about its theatrical success. On top of that, Konttho was released amidst Lok Sabha Election. Beating all odds, Konttho broke box office records. Konttho ran packed houses even on the Election Day as well as on the day when results were declared.
Right from Icche, Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee’s summer releases have been blockbuster hits. Bengali film lovers wait every year for their new treat. The unique content with terrific direction and outstanding performances are key ingredients of their success. No wonder, summer belongs to Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee. This year, the scheduled May release was Belashuru, a sequel of Belaseshe, which has been postponed due to the Corona Virus pandemic. We cannot wait for them to come back and treat us again with their ‘straight-outta-life’ content.
Giving Bengal Cinema some of the most blockbuster hits like Praktan, Bela Seshe, Icche, Muktodhara, Accident, Alik Sukh and Ramdhanu; Director duo Nandita Roy and Shiboprasad have collaborated again with their venture ‘Windows Production’ for yet another family drama, Belashuru. The tale, which is their 12th movie together, tells the vis-a-vis of a family and the nurturing of different relationships that exists within it. The shooting of the same has been started in Shantiniketan.
Ace actors like Soumitra Chatterjee and Swatilekha Sengupta are the lead actors of the film. Rituparna Sengupta, one of the best actors of Tollywood will also be seen playing an important character in this film. Apart from them, other actors like Aparajita Addhya, Kharaj Mukherjee, Indrani Dutta, Shankar Chakraborty, Monami Ghosh, Anindya Chatterjee are also roped in the movie.
Interestingly, the entire squad had come together for Belasheshe, released in 2015. The film ruled the theatre for 250 days!!
With that news, the fans are eagerly waiting for the next venture, Belashuru. The movie is scheduled to release in Diwali 2019.