Kolkata: Anjan Dutt wasn’t the first choice for Mrinal Sen’s Kharij. At least, he says so. Dutt says, for some odd reasons, Dhritiman Chatterjee couldn’t do the role and he got the part. The rest, as they say, is history. Kharij, directed by Mrinal Sen in 1982, was based on a novel by Ramapada Chowdhury and raises questions of consciousness and guilt during a time of crisis.
Time and again, a lot of cinelovers return to Kharij, sometimes for the servant boy Palan and sometimes to understand the message — how privileged are we? Director Kaushik Ganguly is one of them. As a cinema lover, Kharij has been close to his heart. So, when Ganguly thought of paying tribute to one of India’s greatest filmmakers on his 100th birth anniversary (born on May 14, 1923), he couldn’t think of anything but Kharij. Through his next film, Palan, which is inspired from Kharij, Ganguly pays a humble homage to the legendary director.
Ganguly has managed to rope in the cast of Kharij for his new film Palan, which will go on floors on March 25 in Kolkata. So, Dutt, Mamata Shankar, Sreela Majumdar, will be reprising their roles from Kharij in the new feature film. Debapratim Dasgupta, who was a child actor in Kharij, will also be seen in Palan. Joining the new team are Jisshu Sengupta as Pupai and Paoli Dam as his wife.
For Dutt, Mamata and Sreela, coming together for a film which pays homage to Mrinal Sen is a ‘blessing’. The three senior actors have made their debut in Mrinal Sen’s films.
Kaushik still remembers how watching Kharij in 1982 astounded him. “Till Kharij happened, I was used to watching a certain kind of cinema. But Kharij opened my eyes and I developed a perspective. I have never met Satyajit Ray. But I had the chance to know Mrinal Sen. Through Palan, I will pay my tribute to one of the brightest luminaries of Indian cinema,” says the Nagarkirtan director.
While doing Kharij Dutt didn’t realize how important Kharij was. But today, the actor knows. “I remember I had gone to interview Mrinal Sen. Later, he got back to me when I was doing theatre. Then, Chaalchitra happened. I opposed to everything he liked. But our relationship was extraordinary. Today, whatever we understand about cinema is because of Mrinal da,” says Dutt.
To be produced by Pramod Films and The Big Day, Palan will have Neel Dutt as the music composer.