Does ghost exist? Anubrata Dutta’s next film may have answer
A forthcoming Bengali film dwells on the age-old feud between rationalists and occultists
“Bhoot Adbhhot” is largely based on the beliefs and exploits of Prabir Mukerjee, the frontman of the “Bangiyo Bignan and Juktibadi Samity”, a rationalist body.
Mukerjee has claimed to have confronted real time ghost-believers on several occasions and unmasked their ‘tricks’.
The movie is set in the centuries-old Basu Bari, situated on a narrow by-lane in Bagbazar in north Kolkata where the famous painter Nandalal Bose and his family once stayed.
Director of the film, Anubrata Dutta, said, “It is a new genre where I have tried to explore both sides – those believing in the existence of ghosts and those who don’t.”
Dutta said he used to enjoy Prabir’s writings a lot, including “Bhoot Bole Kichhu nei”, when he was growing up.
“This has been an amalgamation of several strands of influences – watching funny ghost movies, suspense thrillers and reading articles and books on the subject. And that is the reason we did not attempt at typical ghost story-telling,” he said.
A leading light of the rationalist brigade, Rahul Banerjee said on the sets of the film, “I have read many of his (Prabir Mukerjee) articles and books and the portrayal of the subject certainly retained references made in them.”
‘Bhoot Adbhoot’ has magician P C Sorcar’s daughter Moubani playing the role of a rationalist.
Moubani said she played a ghost-buster in the movie, someone who moved between haunted places and added that her vanishing craft, which she employed in magic shows, had come to her help in perfecting the shots.
“Unlike the cult movie ‘Bhooter Bhabisyot’, which set a record in popularity recently, where my sister Mumtaj was a ghost, here I am a staunch non-believer in anything paranormal and intrude into a planchett session to get the better of occultists,” she said.
“I guess ghosts are more to be felt through senses than to be seen,” she explained.
A veteran of a number of popular supernatural films, Paran Bandyopadhyay said that the new film would break the Bengali films’ romance with the genre if the director has his way.
‘Madras Cafe’ actor Arijit Dutta was cast in an interesting role of acting as a bridge between the camps of believers, non believers and semi-believers.
“I connect between the divergent groups but I am not a ghost on reel,” Arijit, who had done an intense role in Goutam Ghosh’s ‘Sunyo Awnko’, said.