Now Jisshu to Reprise Matinee Idol?

RBN Web Desk: Director Srijit Mukherji’s celluloid adaptation of author Mani Shankar Mukherjee’s novel Chowringhee seems to be riddled with casting problems. The entire cast of the film—with the exception of Mamata Shankar, Anjan Dutt, and Abir Chatterjee—is likely to change with a new set of actors getting on board.

With Prosenjit almost certain to back out of the film, Srijit has now reportedly asked Jisshu Sengupta to play the role of Sata Bose in the new adaptation, which was earlier played by matinee idol Uttam Kumar in the 1968 film. Uttam’s role in the film is widely considered to be one of his best in a four-decade acting career.

Jisshu was earlier slated to play Anindya Pakrashi in Srijit’s Chowringhee, which was played by Prosenjit’s father Biswajit Chattopadhyay in the earlier film.

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Prosenjit, according to industry sources, was reluctant to play Sata Bose since the beginning. His reasoning was, Uttam Kumar was 42 years old when he played Sata Bose, and his then look perfectly fitted the character. Prosenjit said that he is now 55 and will look much older to play the role of a hotel front desk manager. The hospitality industry has undergone a huge change over the years and front desks are now handled by younger staff. The actor even met the chief of the production house bankrolling the project, to make Srijit understand his reasons for opting out, sources added


But Srijit, known for his brilliant oratory skills, managed to convince Prosenjit in accepting the role of Sata Bose. The director—in the presence of Abir, Jisshu, Mamata Shankar, Prosenjit, and the author—announced the film before the media on 29 January.

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Now, with Prosenjit almost certain not to work in the film, Srijit has approached Jisshu to take over the role. He reportedly met Jisshu before the actor was admitted to the hospital for a gall bladder surgery. Jisshu wasn’t entirely happy with the new offer and the frequent changes in the film’s cast. Srijit even spoke to his wife Nilanjana Sengupta to convince her husband. Nilanjana, according to sources, firmly said she can’t do anything in this regard until Jisshu fully recovers from the surgery. The actor was released from the hospital yesterday and has been advised 15 days of complete rest with only home cooked food as diet.

Jisshu, sources said, is likely to take a call on Srijit’s offer next week. But since Srijit and Jisshu are family friends a workable solution is likely to emerge.

The Autograph director, however, is not new to casting problems for his films. His 2014 thriller Chotushkone had similar predicaments. Filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh was supposed to play the role of Joyobroto in the film. But his sudden demise led to actor-director Parambrata Chatterjee playing the role. Srijit had to completely rewrite the role to fit Parambrata. That aside, Anjan too walked out of the project, reportedly over payment issues with the production house. Senior actor Chiranjeet Chakraborty was roped in as Dipto, the role which was supposed to be played by Anjan. Chotushkone went on to become a major hit and both Chiranjeet and Parambrata were hailed for their performances.

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Earlier, Bangladeshi actress Jaya Ahsan was roped in to play the housekeeper and high society escort Karabi Guha in Srijit’s Chowringee. She was then cast as airhostess Sujata Mitra, the role which Anjana Bhowmick played in the 1968 film. But Jaya, in a later development, chose to walk out of the project entirely. Srijit has now cast Swastika Mukherjee to play the airhostess.

Industry sources revealed that Parambrata, Rudranil Ghosh, Babul Supriyo, and Anirban Bhattacharya are now being considered for the other major roles in Chowringhee.

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