Srijit Mukherji to Adapt Shankar’s Chowringhee

Kolkata: Filmmaker Srijit Mukherji is all set to adapt Mani Shankar Mukhopadhyay’s popular novel Chowringhee for the big screen. The film will be produced by Srijit himself with technical assistance from SVF. The novel is largely based on the author’s personal experiences of working as a receptionist in a top five-star hotel.

Announcing his plans at an event in the city today, Srijit Mukherji said, “I fell in love with the novel when I read it for the first time in the early 1990s. It has a gripping narrative and brilliantly captures the turn of the fifties decade. The novel had a great influence on me.”

Srijit’s film, however, will be set in contemporary Kolkata.

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“People were apprehensive about the success of the novel when it was first published and said that I knew nothing about the hotel industry,” recalled the author, more popularly known as Shankar to Bengali readers. He expressed happiness that the film is being adapted in the present day.

Chowringhee was earlier made into a film in 1968 with an ensemble cast that included Uttam Kumar, Supriya Devi, Biswajit Chattopadhyay, Anjana Bhowmick, Subhendu Chatterjee, and others. The film was a major box office hit and over the years has almost attained a cult status among the Bengali audience.

Elaborating further on the project, Srijit said, “All the original names from the novel have been retained. I have only reinterpreted the story because the hospitably sector has vastly changed from what it was back then.”

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Prosenjit Chatterjee has been cast as the iconic Satyasundar (Sata) Bose, while Shankar will be played by Abir Chatterjee. Mamata Shankar has been roped in to play the role of socialite Mrs Pakrashi. Her son Anindya’s role will be played by Jisshu Sengupta.

Bangladeshi actress Jaya Ahsan has been roped in to play the housekeeper and high society escort Karabi Guha, while actor-director Anjan Dutt has been cast in the role of Marco Polo, the owner of the hotel.

Anupam Roy is the songwriter and music composer of the film.

Speaking about his role in the film, Prosenjit said, “Sata Bose is a character that any actor would love to play. Besides, the film is a reprisal of sorts for me, as my father Biswajit Chattopadhyay played Anindya Pakrashi’s role in the 1968 film.”

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Jisshu echoed Prosenjit and said, “It’s almost the same for me. I was excited when Srijit offered me the role and immediately informed my mother-in-law Anjana Bhowmick who played the role of air hostess Sujata Mitra in the earlier film.”

Jisshu’s role in the film will be of a debonair and flamboyant playboy.

“The film will be shot in several hotels across the city and not in any particular one. Like the 1968 film, my project too will have an ensemble cast,” Srijit Mukherji said.

The film will go on the floors in July-August.

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