On a gloomy afternoon of a Monday, Kolkata bore witness to something more than just the glitz and glamour of the regional film industry.
As the trailer and poster of the upcoming Bengali movie – “Dhananjoy” was launched in a court room set up at Taj Gateway Ballroom; the city bore witness to cinema daring to ask the difficult questions.
The film is based on one of the most important cases in the history of our nation – “The conviction of Dhananjoy Chatterjee”. The production team did an immense research on the basis of circumstantial evidence and the deceased victim’s mother’s statement and wrote a case study of four thousand pages. Dhananjoy Chatterjee – a security guard – was executed and hanged to death in the early hours of 15th August 2004, after serving imprisonment for 14 long years and after having appealed to all levels of court in the county, and finally the President of India. There was a lot of uproar in the political community as well as among the citizens, regarding the judgment. The Film, Dhananjoy, is set in 2008, which is four years after the execution took place. Except “Dhananjoy”, other character’s names have been changed in the film.
Dhananjoy steadfastly maintained his innocence throughout the years in jail and till the last breath. He was exceptionally calm at the time of his execution. During his last few minutes, he asked a police officer to make sure investigation would be done thoroughly in the future. He bid farewell to everyone present and asked them to stay well.
Director Arindam Sil said, “We re-analyzed the case, met various people and studied books on Dhananjoy Chatterjee case. It was found that the execution order of Dhananjoy was given based on inconclusive circumstantial evidence and there was a stark absence of any direct evidence.”
At the first look launch event, Actor Anirban Bhattacharya was presented as Dhananjoy Chatterjee; entering the courtroom in handcuffs with policemen around him. Actor Mimi Chakraborty, who plays Kabya Sinha, a young advocate, entered dressed as her character and spoke about her character and the challenges it presented. Actor Sudipta Chakraborty plays Surbi Parekh, the victim Hema Parekh’s (Anusha Vishwanathan) mother. Paran Bandhopadhay plays Sashi Chatterjee, the father of Dhananjoy Chatterjee and Kaushik Sen plays Sibraj Choudhury, Kabya’s senior advocate. Actors Mir and Kanchan Mullick are seen as serious advocates in this film, contrary to their rather type-casted portrayal in most films.
Mr. Mahendra Soni, Director & Co Founder, SVF said, “After the re-investigation of the case by our team, the findings that came in front of us were stunning and brutal. The So-called perfect case of trail by the Media & our society had been laid bare and the facts were staring at our faces. In the film we show a re-appeal, through which the film explores the established facts of the case and re-presents what could have been the reality.”
Surely, the film is a gutsy move and various corners of the civil society are sure to wake up and take notice.
The film is slated for release on August 11, 2017.
Pictures by: Triparno Ghosal