Kolkata: Happy though that his film ‘Nobel Chor’, based loosely on the theft of Rabindranath Tagore`s Nobel medallion, has generated a good response, Suman Ghosh says he is not sure whether the film will bring the focus back on the theft.
The hunt for the medal and 47 other memorabilia, which came to light on March 25, 2004, by the CBI was officially closed on August 30, 2007, after a fruitless probe. It was reopened on September 18, 2008, only to be closed again on August 20, 2009.
"I am a film-maker who has sought to weave his own story, partly fact-based and partly fictional around the incident. I am not a sleuth or a politician to say this," Ghosh said when asked if the film would rekindle interest in the sensational theft.
He said he was apprehensive about the film`s success after his last two films had not been able to generate much audience response, though Nobel Chor was applauded at the London Film Festival, Mumbai Film festival and Bengalaru International film festival.
"I heard them even appreciate the subtle nuances in the dialogues and expressions which may not be that much understandable to someone outside," he said.
"For instance, there is a reference to Bhanu indicating Tagore in a song. It can be more appreciated by someone knowing that the Bard had composed some work under the name of Bhanu Singha`s Letters.
I had sought to involve the audience with certain nuances, with both thriller elements and doses of satire, but never losing track of the entertainment factor in the mostly linear narrative," Ghosh said.
Asked how much of Nobel Chor was fact and how much fiction, Ghosh, whose earlier film Podokkhep had fetched a national award, said that he had visited Bolpur in Birbhum district, where Visva-Bharati is situated, a number of times and interacted with policemen, common people, varsity staff and others.
That filled early part of first half and though the second half was fiction, the fiction was laced with research.
"I shall rather call it `research-based imagination".
Ghosh said the idea of Nobel Chor was born when he first read media reports about the incident in 2004 and when sometime later a write-up in a US daily in Miami, where he is based, spoke about a stolen letter of philosopher Descartes found in a small town by a farmer.
Referring to Mithun and Soumitra, two legendary actors he had worked with, the film-maker said, "Yes, Soumitrakaku (uncle) has almost become my bad habit. I had already cast him in my two previous films. His performances were the high notes of the films."
"And Mithunda, he had never interfered with my directing as a big star, he followed what I said about farmer Bhanu`s character and he was so involved that he first suggested using the lines of the poem `O Robi Thakur Go`into a title track of the film and it weaved so well," he said.
More than 70 per cent occupancy was reported during the film`s screenings in Star and Priya theatres, the two premier standalone chains since the film`s release on February 17, Arijit Dutta of the Piyali Films and Databazar Media India ltd, said.
The film is a fictional account of a farmer who accidentally stumbles across the stolen Nobel and what follows is nothing but an interesting web of globalisation and yawning rural-urban divide.