Behind-the-scene action of Bapi Bari Ja

Abhijit Guha, Sudeshna Roy04 Dec 2012

Bapi Bari Ja is a youthful film that promises to take every individual on a roller coaster ride, yet turn them nostalgic. Here we have interesting behind-the-scenes episodes that reveal how the movie was moulded and what all to expect from this film.

Bapi Bari Jaa, the film germinated last year. With the blessings of Prosenjit the two of us started the journey. Writing the script was the first step. Padmanabho, our associate of Cross Connection, sat with us as we thrashed out a storyline that would be fun but believable; a story and situations which would be relatable, and would be today.

The three of us, Padmonabho, Abhijit and Sudeshna, spent hours going over the psyche of the young. We tried to recollect our confused youth and we realized we were still confused about certain issues. What did it signify? We were young? We hadn’t grown? Or are certain confusions eternal?

After innumerable arguments, the script was ready and we read it out to Prosenjit. Once he was convinced, the casting started. Mimi and Arjun Chakraborty were a foregone conclusion. The others were brought together and shoot started in November 2011.

We had done up a house in suburban Kolkata as Bapi’s home. Tanmoy Chakraborty, our art director did it up like a livable home. It had warmth and beauty. Especially Bapi’s room in red, black and white was wonderful. So much so that another director had come to look at the location and he kept insisting we leave the props and set as it is for his film. Thank God we did not agree. The film that he made is also releasing at a similar date. Guess which film!!!

Our next location was a coffee shop. We got a college canteen converted into a café. The décor as usual was super, but it’s the college girls and guys who gave the café its proper ambience.

Getting Srijeet in a cameo was a stroke of luck. Check him out as the teacher, Biswayanda.

Vivekananda Park and fuchkas are a hot favourite with us. We shot for a fuchka eating scene there. Dhruv was meant to eat fuchkas while Teesta and Anindya come in on their Scooty and bike. Then, Dhruv was to turn and ask who will pay for his fuchkas. This sequence needed coordination, and so the monitors started. Dhruv is new and was not aware of the fact that in monitors he has to just mime the fuchka eating. He kept eating the fuchkas while rehearsals were on. Since Teesta and Anindya kept missing their mark in the frame as both were new to their vehicles, the ret-takes extended while Dhruv kept downing fuchkas. Ultimately, we had to stop him forcefully as we were worried about next day’s shoot.

The outdoor shoots were fun. As winter was setting in and the sun had a soft warmth that made shooting a pleasure. Abhijit fulfilled a dream. He had left his old home in Taltala last year and shifted to Chak Garia. But Taltala was his alma mater. So he insisted we shoot in the gullies of Taltala. We did it, with a rickshaw ride for Mimi thrown in.

Kolkata, old and new, known and unknown, feature in BBJ. There is Gariahat and Sector 5, north Kolkata and extreme south.

And almost all modes of transport have been used. Hand pulled rickshaw to the Metro.

Park Street the dowager venue is still where the young fly. Park Street and Park hotel play a major role in the film.

The small lanes of Darjipara locality was fun to shoot in. We had a rain and storm scene there and it took the water tank vehicle a few hours to negotiate the serpentine lanes. But ultimately it worked and the Sajnaa song happened there.

Bapi Bari Jaa is a film where our city Kolkata is a major character, and as audience you can have a great time identifying the areas and trying to match your experiences with that of Bapi and his gang of friends.

And just a small whisper… watch out for Gariahat More... under the flyover.

Tags: Bapi Bari JaaAbhijit GuhaSudeshna RoyOn The SetsCastingFilm Making

Abhijit Guha and Sudeshna Roy are the directors of bapi baari jaa. The duo have been working together since 1994. From making non fiction programmes for television the two have now completed five full length feature films and have embarked on their sixth. Bapi bari Jaa is their fifth film. The duo have so far concentrated on youth films. Their film Teen Yaari Katha made in 2006, was released earlier this year and had a ewonderful run in West Bengal even though the pirated version of the film had been uploaded on You Tube several years back. Abhijit and Sudeshna's Cross Connection in 2009 was a hit that brought in a new kind of film for the young and old.

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