Kolkata: Award-winning director Aparna Sen deals with love and intolerance in her upcoming film “Arshinagar”, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” set in the present milieu.
“‘Arshinagar’ is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s popular play where love and violence co-exist. It is a film which speaks about the power of human love despite intolerance and strife,” Sen told PTI.
The director said that there are certain elements in this Shakespeare drama, which can be relevant for the present time.
“The underlying theme of the film (‘antornihito bhab’) is not much different from ‘Mr and Mrs Iyer’, which talks about love between two young people under extraordinary circumstances.
Sen said that she has sought to be as close as possible to the Shakespearean original in the film, but adapted it into the present situation where Tybalt becomes Tayeb (Jisshu Sengupta) and Romeo as Rono (Dev).
Sen said that the entire conversation in the film was in verses, which was a challenge.
“You have to be always careful about the length and how to keep the lyrics resonate with rhythm. While the dialogues are verse-based, there are musical tracks representing an ecletic blend of sufi, kawali, pop-rock, heavy metal,” she said.
Dev, who admitted said his Bengali was not so good, counted it as a privilege to be chosen by a director of Aparna Sen’s calibre.
“For a person like me who can’t speak correct Bengali, it was challenging to practice the verses of the dialogue and it took three months to rehearse. I was scolded by Rinadi (Aparna Sen) like a teacher,” Dev said.
“Arshinagar”, which also stars veteran Waheeda Rehman in a special role and debutant Ritika as Julie (Juliet) has music composed by Debojyoti Mishra. It will be released this Christmas.