Even before director Subhrajit Mitra went on floors with his magnum opus ‘Devi Chowdhurani’ (Bandit Queen of Bengal), the film has already made a lot of noise. From Bollywood’s famed action director Sham Kaushal coming on board, Prosenjit Chatterjee playing Bhabani Pathak to the film releasing in seven languages, ‘Devi Chowdhurani’ is the talk of the tinsel town. And now, Mitra takes the notch one step higher with the film’s motion poster being unveiled at the Indian Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival 2023. Prosenjit also took to his social media to share the news.
Expectedly, the Bengali director is excited. Though he and his team couldn’t be present at the French Riviera for the launch of the motion poster, he told ‘Millennium Post’: “It is indeed a big moment for Bengali cinema. We couldn’t be present at Cannes, but we know all the Indians across the world will be proud of this moment.”
The film, also starring Sabyasachi Chakraborty as zamindar Haraballabh Roy and Arjun Chakraborty, will release pan-India in Bengali, Hindi, English, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu.
After the National Award-winning ‘Avijatrik’, the director decided to return to renowned Bengali author Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and adapt his legendary novel ‘Devi Chowdhurani’ on the big screen. Mitra, who has been researching the East India Company, Sanyasi and Fakir Rebellion, and the Great Bengal famine of 1770 for the longest time, wanted to capture the socio-political situation of Bengal in the 18th century.
The director also informed that Srabanti, who will play the titular role of Devi Chowdhurani, will start learning horse riding and sword fighting soon. Bollywood’s ace action director Sham Kaushal (also the father of Vicky Kaushal) will be in Kolkata to prepare Srabanti and Prosenjit for the action sequences in the film. Meanwhile, the actors are undergoing workshops under Sohag Sen and Mitra.
With ‘Avijatrik’ based on Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s novel ‘Aparajito’, Mitra managed to carve a niche in storytelling. Given the success of ‘Avijatrik’, is there any pressure on Mitra while he gears up for ‘Devi Chowdhurani’? To this he promptly replied, “Absolutely no. After ‘Avijatrik’, I was offered five films from the best production houses in Bengal. But I took time and developed ‘Devi Chowdhurani’,” he said.