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Professor Shonku on celluloid


Declaring long back that he is seriously considering making a feature film on Satyajit Ray’s Professor Shonku, director Sandeep Ray finally put all rumours to rest stating that the process has already begun. Based on the immortal character of this quick witted scientist known as Professor Shonku, the movie is expected to release in the upcoming year.

Addressing a press conference at Shree Venkateshwara Film office in Kolkata, Ray stressed that since this is the first time Professor Shonku will hit the silver screen, it comes with a lot of added pressure. Also present at the conference were actors Subhashish Mukherjee and Dhritiman Chatterjee and producer Shrikant Mohta.

Though film lovers have waited long to see before their eyes the voyages of this brilliant scientist with a penchant for adventure, the complicated science fiction elements is difficult to be implemented into a film. Ray admitted that he wanted to make Ek Shringo Obhijaan, but it could not come through due to certain technological challenges. According to him, Shonku as a character is unparalleled in our science fiction. Books, with the written word, are like the theatre of the mind, and every reader conjures her or his own picture of their favourite character. In that sense, it will be an interesting challenge to bring the fictional character of Professor Shonku convincingly to life on celluloid. “I am really looking forward to doing this,” he said.

With the support of SVF, his latest venture Shonku o El Dorado will be shot across various locations in India and Brazil. Chatterjee, who will be playing the role of professor Shonku, said that he was thrilled to portray the legendary character and had to put in a lot of effort to bring it alive. “Shonku is a character with an international appeal. We are certainly trying to add that global flavour to the film and its characters,” he said.

When questioned about the casting, Ray commented that Chatterjee was an automatic choice because of his screen presence and command over multiple languages since it is a multilingual movie. The character, around which the story revolves, namely Nokur Babu, was played by Mukherjee. He said that this movie is an added milestone in his career. “Like always, this has been another challenging role that I was offered by Ray and undoubtedly I loved the experience,” he said.

Shot across multiple locations, SVF’s Shrikant Mohta stressed that though the budget was heavy, it wasn’t the primary concern. “A story by the master himself and directed by Ray, the project couldn’t have been in safer hands,” he said.

With a busy year ahead Ray hopes to wrap up the parts of shooting in India by March, then moving on to the rest. A story that entertains all generations with its stunning locations and visuals, the coming year Tollywood could witness a fresh surprise in Bengali cinema.