Anjan Dutta has become a constant in Srijit Mukherji’s last few films, including Uma (2018) and Ek Je Chhilo Raja (2018).
In Mukherji’s upcoming Shah Jahan Regency, Dutt reprises the character played by the great Utpal Dutt in Pinaki Bhushan Mukherji’s Chowringhee (1968), adapted from Mani Shankar Mukherjee’s eponymous novel.
In a press conference, Anjan Dutt expressed his admiration for the veteran author and stated that Koto Ajanare and Chowringhee are two of his favourite novels.
“When I could not read much Bengali, I could easily read his [Mani Shankar’s] novels,” Dutt said. “I could deeply relate to Chowringhee as I have been through that period up close. I sincerely feel that a director or a screenwriter’s duty is to retain the essence of a literary piece, no matter how he or she transforms it according to the demands of a time period.”
The actor-director said he did not like Pinaki Bhushan’s Chowringhee, though it remains one of the most popular Bengali classic films.
“I feel that the essence of the film got lost in a crowd of huge stars in the previous film,” he said.
Shah Jahan Regency also features Parambrata Chatterjee, Abir Chatterjee, Mamta Shankar, Swastika Mukherjee, Anirban Bhattacharya, Rittika Sen, Rituparna Sengupta, Rudranil Ghosh, and Kanchan Mullick.
Referring to Uttam Kumar’s portrayal of Sata Bose in the 1968 film, Dutt said, “The film turned into a story of one character. With due respect to the monumental actor he [Uttam Kumar] was, I want to say that Chowringhee is originally a story of many characters infesting the hotel. The hotel is in itself a world and all the characters in it have equal importance.”
Dutt said, “I have really enjoyed my portion of work. It is a story of transitions and time and Srijit’s success lies in perfectly capturing the transformations in their true essence.”
Shah Jahan Regency is slated for release on 18 January. Watch the trailer below and let us know if you are keen to watch this film.