I wanted to show anger of partition through Begum Jaan: Srijit Mukherji


Then I started working towards it,” the director said. In Bengali, the movie portrayed the problems that the Radcliffe Line had created for Begum Jaan’s brothel as the border demarcating India and East Pakistan went through her bordello, dividing it into two halves. For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App now I wanted to show that in-your-face anger through Begum Jaan in these films,” Mukherji told IANS in a phone interview from Mumbai. I was also doing theatre.” The loss to the dreary art — economics — would be counted as a major gain for the exciting world of cinema. “I didn’t want pretty faces. Mukherji, a celebrated national award winning director, says he is mulling the remake of two of his Bengali movies — Hemlock Society and Chotushkone — into Hindi films. Unlike the Bengali version, where apart from Begum Jaan all the other 10 girls’ roles were played by established actresses, the Hindi version has many unknown faces. Where a fine scalpel was needed for a delicate operation, he was given an axe, and where years were needed to separate millions, he was given five weeks. He did through Begum Jaan what he had earlier done through Rajkahini — tell the tale of a strong-willed woman trying to preserve a way of life in her brothel, which was being overwhelmed by fast-moving events of a nation in turmoil. Partition as an event demands that kind of treatment. While reading stories of partition and its impact on human lives by Saadat Hasan Manto and Ismat Chughtai, I used to get angry and hurt. Asked about this career shift, he said: “The story-telling bug was always there inside me. “The trauma of partition didn’t affect the entire country equally,” Mukherjee said. In the Hindi version, one part of Begum’s house falls in India and the other in West Pakistan. The only difference here was the girl and her boyfriend are saved by an elderly woman who starts undressing herself in front of the goons, which eventually made them flee the spot. Mukherji’s Begum Jaan comes after several years of hiatus in a trend which was common in the past — of making Bengali movies in Hindi. “People from northern part of the country really enjoyed it. Also read: Begum Jaan movie review: Vidya Balan tries to invest some feeling into her role which soon turns clichéd
Mukherji, a student of economics from the Presidency College and Jawaharlal Nehru University, started his career as an economist. Her house is seen as a safe haven of sorts for many destitute women who were abused at some point. There was no so-called relief after watching the movie. Cyril Radcliffe was a British lawyer who got the job of dividing a seething cauldron of a nation into its Muslim- and Hindu-majority areas. The movie’s protagonist and its dominating figure not only has a hard grip on what goes inside, she also commands a hold among the who’s who of the society, many of whom are customers of the brothel. It will give Bengali cinema a national stage,” he said. But pan-India it didn’t do well,” Srijit said talking about the response. The low budget (Rs 19 crore) movie, though, has broken even. There was very little entertainment. Mukherji had tried to make the movie as close as he could to reality. I wanted faces that will carry stories.” Mukherji along with the film’s casting director Mukesh Chhabra spent two months searching for such faces. The death of a million people ensued. 2017-04-23T12:24:39+00:00″>
Published:April 23, 2017 12:24 pm

Vidya Balam along film director Srijit Mukherjee at the Her Upcoming Film Begum Jaan film Promotion. In 2010, he made his debut with a Bengali movie Autograph. “It is a healthy trend. “I went to Mumbai for subtitling of Rajkahini when Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhat gave me the idea to remake it into a Bollywood film. But it’s a tough safe haven — the madam keeps a tight leash on her girls. Begum Jaan and her girls become livid when they learn about the Radcliffe Line from the officers-in-charge of the Border Commission. Begum Jaan begins with a scene uncannily similar to the infamous Nirbhaya rape that took place in Delhi. He also felt the movie was “too melodramatic” for the urban audience. He is also planning a full-fledged Bollywood movie but declined to give details. “The subject is very hard-hitting. “I am satisfied with the debut of my Hindi movie,” he said. She threatens to do a partition of their bodies — and thereby hangs a tale of misery, violence and women empowerment, in an era where two nations were taking birth through a trial by fire. “The main reason is that I think the theme was dark and disturbing. There was no pop-corn entertainment,” he added. Photo by Debajyoti Chakraborty
Partition remains a searing reality in the history of India and Pakistan. The trend was strengthened by famous directors like Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Shakti Samanta. Against this backdrop, Srijit Mukherji has sought to bring to Hindi filmgoers what he had for Bengali viewers two years ago.  
Although both the movies received some critical acclaim, the Hindi version was not seen as a great success at the box office.