A day after education minister Bratya Basu’s ‘Dictionary’ won the Best International Feature Film award at the Nepal International Film Festival, the director firmed up his plans for his next feature, this one set to be a “political film”. It will be based on the life of Hubba Shyamal, a gangster, often referred to as the ‘Dawood Ibrahim of Hooghly’, who was booked in over 30 cases, including murder, extortion and drug smuggling. On Basu’s list is also a screen adaptation of Satinath Bhaduri’s ‘Dhorai Charit Manas’.
The news of the Gautama Buddha Award for ‘Dictionary’ came the day Basu was virtually sworn in as the state education minister on Monday. “I have always believed that a good film will be recognized at international festivals and on OTT platforms. My belief was only reinforced when the European jury members conferred this award on ‘Dictionary’. It felt good to know my film connected with the jury at a foreign festival. This award is a vindication of my beliefs in the path I have followed as a film-maker,” he said.
Asked if he was thinking about introducing films and theatre in school curriculum, Basu said, “I have some plans and will have a word with the chief minister and see how that can be executed,” he said. Currently, his focus is, however, on efficient management of the Covid crisis. “I spoke to my doctor. If all goes well, I should be back on the streets by this weekend after recovering from Covid. Once the situation is under control, I will shoot for Riingo’s ‘A River in Heaven’ and Soukarya Ghosal’s next,” he said.
Thereafter, Basu wants to start pre-production of ‘Hubba’. Bangladeshi actor Mosharraf Karim, who was also part of ‘Dictionary’ cast, along with Nusrat Jahan, Abir Chatterjee, Madhurima Basak, Arna Mukhopadhyay, Falguni Chatterjee and Poulomi Basu, will essay the title role. “My film will be a curious blend of crime and comedy,” he said.
Hubba, who was active from the end-90s, was arrested thrice but released on bail. He was first picked up in December 2005 from in front of a Salt Lake multiplex. “Left was in power in Bengal. A global change had set in with people having access to internet, mobile, FM channels and social media. Hubba used 70 mobiles,” Basu said. In 2009, Hubba had filed nomination as an Independent candidate in Konnagar’s civic polls but subsequently withdrew his candidature. In 2011, his decomposed naked body was found floating in a canal in Baidyabati. “Through this film, I want to explore the changing dynamics of politics and underworld in the age of globalisation,” Basu added.
Besides this script, Basu has also written a play based on contemporary Bollywood and cricket, called ‘Roll, Action, Cut’. “It explores the world of power, glamour, cricket and politics. From #MeToo movement to nepotism, I have included everything. Even political parties, like Shiv Sena and BJP, find mention.” he said.
Asked how he intends to balance his work as a minister with his passion for writing, acting and direction, Basu said, “For me, it is a switch-on and switch-off process. After a hard day of campaign, I still wrote till late. That’s my vitamin, my energy drink.”
Source: Times of India