By: Bhavna Chopra, IndiaFM
Monday, June 18, 2007
There are films that you wish were a reality and there is reality, which you wish were just a film or a part of a drama. But one has to wake up and smell coffee. How long can you live in a dream world of fantasies, in a world so fictional that at end of it all, it hurts to know it isn't real? But thankfully films today have changed, and along with it they have also changed the face of cinema. It is only through such realistic cinema that we have come to understand our real world much better. And hope to know more.
But looks like you do not understand where are we getting at, do you? What men it is not as complicated as Rosy Aunty's wine but as simple as Peter uncle's vodka shot. There, you still look lost on that one, so to make things a bit simpler and less complicated let's put a full stop to my bantering and come to the point.
The topic of our interview today is the recent but yet to be released realistic film, 'Bow Barracks Forever'. It is a film that is being made by Mr Anjan Dutt, the famous bong musician, singer-composer who is also a writer, director and an actor. With this film Anjan Dutt has taken a keen initiative in portraying true story of a bunch of Anglo-Indians living in Calcutta. Through this film he wants to communicate and voice out the serious problem of this very special, close to his heart community, with which he identifies and has great affiliation. The film is being produced by PNC (Pritish Nandy Communications) and is based on true story and lesser known facts of Anglo- Indian community that needs to come into the limelight. It is a story about people that needs to be told. It is a story about families that need to be helped and what better way to showcase their worries and their actual essence of living than through a film projecting it all.
One may wonder what Bow Barracks is and why such a peculiar name for a film? Well, Bow Barracks is nothing but a very historic, extremely cherished and an old residential area /building in Calcutta that houses 140 Anglo Indian families and for whom it is their only home. But the grave matter of concern for this purely loved and nurtured area is that it is under the threat of getting demolished and reconstructed into a newer and modern architecture. An architecture if built, will ruin each and every person's life living there, will kill the very essence of their presence, their survival and their basic aim to have stayed rooted to India for generations and generations to come.
On interviewing Mr Anjan Dutt, the actor who acted in Aparna Sen's films like Mr and Mrs Iyer and Yugant, veteran director Mrinal Sen's films like Kharij and Ek Din Achanak, one realizes that he has come a long way (almost 40 years now) to pursue his real passion, which is direction. Having completed his education in Darjeeling, he moved to Calcutta and being a hardcore cosmopolitan city that it is, it offered him a wide variety of career options. From Advertising, journalism, rock music, theatre to acting in films, Mr Dutt has tested them all. And in spite of the fact that his father was a famous lawyer, Dutt instead of choosing law as his obvious path, chose to merely survive by doing things that interested him. As an independent director-writer, Anjan Dutt has some commendable films to his kitty out of which his worth a mention films are The Bong Connection, Bada Din and a documentary Call Cutta. Though Bada Din, a film again on Anglo- Indians, their living style, culture and colorful stories, is considered by Mr Dutt as his most embarrassing subject, for he could not do proper justice to it, is a movie through which one clearly gathers that it is 'the topic' he is utmost passionate about.
"The failure of Bada Din is one of the main reasons I have chosen to make a film on Bow Barracks Forever. Bada Din as a film has not only disappointed me but also failed to project the true nature of the community I am so fond of. I have literally grown up being a part of the Anglo Indian community. The reason I am so well versed with their lifestyle and culture is because my teacher, my girlfriend, my friends were all Anglo Indians. I have grown up listening to their kind of music, eating their food and laughing at their jokes. But I never knew a place like Bow Barracks existed in Calcutta, until I was invited there to screen Bada Din in order to raise funds. Once there amongst those people, it was only then did I learn of their stories, their problems which is how I decided to make the film on the pertinent issue", says Anjan Dutt.