By Anindita Acharya
In Bollywood, nobody celebrates history and tragedy in a dramatic fashion like Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Back home in Kolkata, there’s humble Arun Roy, who is constantly trying to make historical films. From Egaro, where he revisited the historic 1911 IFA Shield win by barefooted Mohun Bagan, to making a biopic on Hiralal Sen, the father of the Indian Cinema, Roy says he has many subjects on Bengal’s history to make films on. His latest — 8/12 (Binay Badal Dinesh Saga) — is also based on a crucial historical event.
Recently, the trailer of the Bengali film 8/12 was released in front of the statue of Binay Badal Dinesh at BBD Bagh in Kolkata.
Roy says it is important that today’s youngsters know the sacrifices made by Binay, Badal and Dinesh on December 8, 1930. “Our independence is the result of supreme sacrifice made by our brave freedom fighters. We should realize the independence that we are enjoying today wasn’t given to us on a plate. Young people like Binay, Badal and Dinesh laid down their lives to set us free. Many of us have almost forgotten about Binay, Badal and Dinesh’s sacrifice. They entered Writers’ Building on December 8, 1930 to kill NS Simpson and other Britishers without an iota of fear,” says the director.
While historical films and biopics continue to be Bollywood’s fodder at the box-office, making a historical film in the Bengali film industry is in itself challenging because of stringent budgets.
Kinjal Nanda, who will be seen playing the role of Binay Basu in the film, is on cloud nine. In Hiralal, he essayed the title role and received rave reviews. “After playing the iconic character of Hiralal Sen, getting the opportunity to essay Binay Basu is pure luck,” the young actor says.
For Arna Mukherjee, who plays Badal Gupta in the film, the main concern was to do justice to the character of the Bengali revolutionary. The film stars Remoo as Dinesh Gupta and also includes Saswata Chatterjee, Kharaj Mukherjee, Shankar Debnath, Devraj Mukherjee, Anushka Chakraborty, and Gulshanara Khatun.
The three young actors laid a wreath at the Binay, Badal and Dinesh statue at BBD Bagh. Produced by Kan Singh Sodha, the film hits the theatres on January 2022.