Manojder Advut Bari on celluloid
Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay’s first published literary work for children had created quite a stir when it was first published in a serialized form in Anandamela. Manojder Advut Bari that revolved around a crazy family, living in a sprawling house in small-town of Bengal and their neighbourhood was and still is one of the most hilarious literary works possible. Now, the book will get new heights and a greater audience with its on-screen adaptation.
Years ago,it was turned into a serial on Doordarshan and now author/singer/filmmaker Anindya Chattopadhyay is all set to recreate the times and characters of the book in his next venture. The movie will be produced by Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee, and author Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay is also upbeat that his well-known book would be essayed on celluloid.
For Anindya, this was a project very close to his heart and something that he could relate well. An avid reader and fan of Shirshendu’s writings, he said, “I love the fantasy elements in his novels. And the way he intersperses them so deftly and beautifully with the narrative. The effect is magical.”
Manoj is the youngest member of his batty family, with elder siblings Saroj and Putul. Their father, Rakhohari babu, is a strict disciplinarian and everyone is petrified of him. Except Thakurjhee, Rakho babu’s widowed aunt, an old lady who suffers from an obsessive need to clean everything. Then there is Thakurma, the children’ grandmother, whose sole occupation is to prepare lentil dumplings (bori) and protect them from crows. In fact, Thakurma has strong muscles on her right arm,as a result of whipping lentils all year through! Among others are two uncles — one a bodybuilder-cum-scientist and the other an expert shopper. This is not all. The household also comprises tutor Dukkhohoron babu — who cannot teach unless he sits with his feet up; music teacher Ganesh Ghosal — who tries to hang himself twice or thrice every month; family priest Satish Bharadwaj — a paunchy champion eater rumoured to own pet ghosts; and the elderly maidservant Kirmiriya — who bursts into loud wails at the drop of a hat. More than enough to whet one’s appetite.
Shiboprosad Mukhopadhyay, another ardent fan of Shirshendu is very enthusiastic about the project too and feels a lot of nostalgia is attached with the novel and when it will be recreated on screen, it will surely bridge the gap between generations as contemporary youngsters will be equally attracted to the story. It will be a comedy film for all ages.
The casting has not yet been finalized though. Anindya said he plans to take talented veteran Tollywood actors for the film because doing a comedy is the most difficult job as it is all about correct timing. He is on the lookout for the boy who can do justice to Manoj’s character. Shooting for the film will begin sometime in March next year.