Bulan Bhattacharjee&’s Sangabora (Imaginary Destination) released on 25 March 25 at Priya cinema in south Kolkata, marking the maiden venture of this 46-year-old director who looks 10 years younger. The concept and story of the film can be defined as combining elements of mystery and adventure enveloped in an aura of suspense and tension involving five curious adventurers from the city backed by a senior archaeology professor (Soumita Chatterjee) and two documentary filmmakers. They scurry through miles of dense jungle for this documentary based on the hitherto strange religious rituals of Tunga tribals.
The Tunga chief initially welcomes the two documentary filmmakers and unveils cryptic religious beliefs of an ancient stone inscription that conceals a lost treasure hidden in an unknown island called Sangabora. When the object of their worship goes missing, the tribals go haywire with rage. And while one our visiting team member vanishes, the other somehow manages to escape to Kolkata.
But when the strange stone inscription reaches Kolkata and mysteriously falls into the possession of Arka (Samadarshi Dutta), a college-going youth, a team of five adventurers lead by him hazards returning the inscription to its rightful owners and restoring their hidden treasure in Sangabora and peace is eventually restored. The promise of mysterious adventure fraught with danger, suspense and murder holds the film together and sustains audience interest with worthy cinematography.
Apart from Soumitra Chatterjee and Samadarshi Dutta, the cast includes Kaushik Sen, Kharaj Mukherjee, Bollywood&’s Priyanshu Chatterjee, Bidita Bag and Sampurna Lahiri. Shot in Gujarat, Kolkata, Mumbai and Vishakapatnam over 32 days, the film was completed in October 2015 a nd produced by Prashantbhai Haradhan Kundu with a budget of Rs 1 crore. It is technically well crafted and very different from the conventional Bengali films.
There are four songs, including a theme by Raja Narayan Deb, with playback vocalists like Shreya Ghoshal, Javed Ali, Niki Mohan, Timir Biswas, Kaushik Chakraborty and Arko Mukherjee, who complement the overall impact. The cinematography is by Sunirmal Majumdar and art direction is by Samir Kundu. The editing has been executed by Tapas Chakraborty.
Bulan Bhattacharjee&’s filmmaking experience includes five documentaries, of which Brighton of the East was based on the culture of fishermen at a Digha seaside resort and screened at Nandan 2 during the Kolkata Short Film Festival.
Working with Soumitra Chatterjee, Bhattacharjee said that “it was a wonderful experience to work with such a veteran actor like him. He did full justice to his role as the archaeologist who had done much research on the character in order to flesh out the role”.
Before Sangabora, Bhattacharjee made Kusum, a feature film that focuses on female education and is yet to be released. His next project is Hindi feature film called Love in Island with artistes from Mumbai and Kolkata. Apart from the story and direction, the camera will be cranked by Bhattacharjee.
Asked what his expectations were in relation to Sangabora, he said, “To me, the sky is the limit and my film comes as a form of entertainment targeted to arouse the curiosity of my new millennium audience for whom I penned the screenplay. It is a work based on much research. If they like my film, the purpose of making it will have served its purpose.”