Posts Tagged ‘Sujoy Ghosh’

Script of Sujoy Ghosh’s Short ‘Ahalya’

Posted: August 4, 2015 by moifightclub in film, Scripts, short film
Tags: , , ,

With Sujoy Ghosh’s short film ‘Ahalya‘ doing exceptionally well on youtube, many of you had asked for the script of the film. So here we are. Thanks to Sujoy, we are uploading the script of the short. Enjoy reading!

 

Since his commercial and critical hit Kahaani in 2012, Sujoy Ghosh has been missing in action. But here’s a pleasant surprise – he has directed a 14-minute short as part of Large Short Films.

Starring Soumitra Chatterjee, Tota Roy Chowdhury and Radhika Apte, this one is a smart spin on the story of Ahalya. Do watch.

If you didn’t notice, the names of the characters also gives you ample hit. And if you are still confused about the spin, click here to read the Ahalya’s story.

Since the last two years, FFI or Film Federation Of India has suddenly changed its stance. Earlier all the jury members used to be in the presser to announce the name of the film selected as India’s entry for the Oscars. Now, it’s all a big secret. And that’s quite baffling because nobody says why it’s a secret. More because none of the renowned film festival or prestigious film awards keeps its jury a secret. I can’t think of any. In fact, most take pride in announcing the names of their jury members. It becomes more important when a controversy like this happens – why can’t the members publicly endorse and fight for the film they picked to represent the country? I don’t have any answers.

So here’s the list of the 19 FFI jury members who picked “The Good Road”.

1. Gautam Ghose – Filmmaker, Chairman of the jury
2. Rupa Ganguly – Actor
3. Agni Mitra Paul – Fashion/Costume Designer
4. Sujoy Ghosh – Filmmaker
5. Onir – Filmmaker
6. Bharthiraja
7. N Shankar – Filmmaker
8. K P Kumaran – Filmmaker
9. Mahesh Kothare – Actor/Director
10. Suhasini Mani Ratnam – Director/writer
11. Indraneel Bose
12. Sanjay Verma
13. Kamlesh Pandey – Screenwriter
14. Ramadoss Naidu
15. Kavita Lankesh – Director/Writer
16. Vijay Patkar – Actor
17. Aarti Anand
18. Vidya Sagar – Music Director
19. C V Reddy – Filmmaker
Strangely, we spoke to at least six of them and all are repeating the same lines – it was unanimous decision to pick The Good Road. 19 people and all felt that TGR was better than everything else. or all have been told to say the same thing? Now that the names are out, am hoping at least some people will speak up why The Good Road is better than other films. Seriously, forget The Lunchbox. Just tell us what we are missing. They need to enlighten us and make us see what’s great about TGR. Some of the names are quite well known and they know much more about cinema than all of us. So it will be good to know what’s good in their books and why. Waiting.

Satyanweshi

Filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh passed away earlier this year just after completing the shooting of his film on Byomkesh Bakshi. The makers have completed the film and it is ready for release. It’s based on “Chorabali” by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay.

The film also marks the acting debut of filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh in the lead role of Byomkesh Bakshi.

Here is the first trailer of the film

Official synopsis – Maharaja Arunangshu, the ruler of a princely sate named Balabantpur, had made a wish list on his death bed in the presence of Dewan Chandrashekhar, the family physician Kaligati and the High Priest. It laid down certain conditions for his heir, his son Himangshu. The first of which forbade Himangshu from marrying a non Hindu girl, and the second demanded a legitimate heir within three years of his marriage. Bound by his father’s conditions of succession, Himangshu is compelled to marry Alaka, an aspiring actress.

A year and half into the marriage, Harinath, the young palace librarian disappears without any trace. This mystery occasions the arrival of the sleuth Byomkesh and his author friend Ajit to Balwantpur. The visit though is under the pretext of an invitation for a hunting expedition. In course of their stay, they unfold many secrets involving the residents of the palace and about the topography of Balwantpur.

Film : Satyanweshi.
Starring : Sujoy Ghosh, Aninda Chatterjee, Indraniel Sengupta, Arpita Chatterjee, Sanjoy Nag, Shibaji Bandhopadhyay, Anandi Ghosh
Producer : Shree Venkatesh Films
Presenter : Shrikant Mohta & Mahendra Soni
Direction : Rituparno Ghosh.
DOP : Avik Mukhopadhyay
Music : Debajyoti Mishra

Thanks to filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh, we had put out the script of Kahaani here. And here’s an interesting post by one of our readers Deepanjali B Sarkar where she compares the script with the film. And also keeps a check on the timeline – what happens where, at what time, and for how long. Over to her.

Kahaani2

KAHAANI

I’ve now seen Kahaani several times, the last time with the script in hand, provided by this blog. Here are some rapid notes I made – mainly on the pacing and plot points (which is what makes it such a gripping film). Sharing it – in case others find it useful. Have listed the run time at which each plot point takes place.

So here goes

  • Hook – introduced within 10  mins: taxi driver says it’s for the first time that he has driven someone to the police station straight from the airport. Add to that – that she is pregnant.
  • Dramatic premise – husband missing: approx. 15.45 mins. Vidya files missing complaint in Kalighat police station. This sequence is packed with information (set up/clues) that will come into critical use as the thriller unfolds (pay off):
    • Husband worked in National Data Centre. Later we get to know the main suspect Milan Damji is an employee of National Data Centre, as is Shridhar, the IT head who assigns Bob Biswas, the hired assassin, his targets.
    • Vidya is a firewall expert. Crucial in her gaining access to IT head’s system, which leads them to IB head, Bhaskaran.
    • Vidya has a dizzy spell when asked to sign the missing person report. Pay off – she never left behind any fingerprints.
  • First red herring: Mona Lisa Hotel. Approx 20 mins.

By the way – had a question here. Did her husband actually stay here? Or how did she know of the decorative piece, the peacock? If he didn’t why this hotel in particular? Because it didn’t keep any records of its guests?

  • Second red herring: Arnav’s uncle’s house. 31 mins
  • Third red herring: Arnav’s school. 31.30 mins
  • Fourth red herring: Kolkata immigration
  • First clue! Milan Damji; Second clue – Bombay blood group. When Vidya meets Agnes Demelo in Mocambo. 35 mins
  • Bob the Killer introduced. 35.58 mins
  • First murder – Agnes Demelo. 37.29 mins
  • Khan – crucial link in plot – introduced. Being from the IB, he will lead Vidya to _____. 38.24 mins. 40 mins
  • Capt. Bajpayee introduced. The Kahaani actually starts with him training three agents. Introduced at 40.07 mins
  • Plot thickens! Vidya remembers that Khan refers to Damji by first name. So he must be familiar with him though he claims not to know him. 44.22 mins
  • Khan inducts Rana into the case (audience doesn’t know of it as yet)
  • Bob’s 2nd assignment: Retrieve Milan Damji’s file. 49.52 mins
  • Third clue! Identity of Milan Damji – from old records of National Data Centre. 50.23 mins
  • Pre-interval climax! Vidya pushed into metro tracks. 55.55 mins
  • NOW – Backstory. 57.38 mins

But why will Bhaskaran approach Bajpayee when he himself is the kingpin of the entire operation?

  • Vidya voices audience’s doubts. Missing from script. (1) Arnab has deserted her (2) Arnab and Milan are one and the same (3) Arnab has been targeted because he looks like Milan Damji.
  • Turning point: Jis din Milan mil jayega, us din, Arnab mil jayega. So hunt on for Milan Damji. No longer for Arnab.  59.07
  • Transition scene: Missing in script. Lovely touch of the playful side of Vidya. The two are travelling in a tram, she accidentally kicks Rana. He touches his forehead (pranam). She is intrigued and playfully kicks him again…and again!
  • Fourth clue! Milan Damji’s house – tea glasses from tea stall outside. Boy at tea stall remembers man with brass corners briefcase. This is the FINAL LINK to Bhaskaran. 1.03 hrs
  • Clue – follow up- Bombay blood required by Milan Damji when he was admitted in Ekbalpur Nursing Home.
  • No records of Milan Damji in Ekbalpur Nursing Home. Next —> Police Informer
  • Kumartuli – locate police informer. Nice touch – Vidya slips, Rana holds her hand. 1.06 mins
  • Police informer – Pal asked to locate who needed Bombay Blood in Ekbalpur Nursing home and why. Pal refuses to help. Vidya pleads, appealing on behalf of her unborn child. Vital leads acquired only because she is a helpless pregnant woman. Police wouldn’t have been able to extract the information. 1.07 hrs
  • Police informer Pal talks of shoot-out. Next clue – doctor who treated Milan Damji. Bob receives next job – kill Doctor Ganguli. 1.09 hrs
  • Vidya finds details about the shoot-out from Kalighat police station computer records

Rana’s attraction to Vidya grows (proximity as she bends over him to look at computer records)

  • Scene 142: Set up that will lead to the Denouement —> Vidya cleans table. Cleans it off her finger prints
  • Scene 143 – 145: Shoot out explanation by Rana. National Data Centre provides IB agents with cover/double identities
  • Scene 146 – 147: Poltu points out man with Briefcase -> Shridhar. 1.14 hrs
  • Scene 148: Bob’s next job -> Vidya. Shridhar, the Chief Technology Officer of Data Centre scans Vidya’s photo and MMS’ it to Bob
  • Scene 149: Nice touch. Bob is shining his nails when he gets his next job. He looks exasperated and the way he says to rickshaw valla – turn around, it looks as if he’s been given an errand to run to the fish market before leaving for office!
  • Scene 150 – 151: Dramatic scene. Chase! Bob chases Vidya. Kills innocent passerby. Rana chases Bob. Bob is run over by a truck. 1.16 hrs
  • Scene 154: Track Sridhar, handler of Bob/CTO of Data Centre. 1.19 hrs
  • Scene 155:   IP address of sender of MMS to Bob
  • Scene 158:  Sridhar signs out. Set up: peon carries three glasses; visitor’s book is out
  • Scene 162: Sridhar figures out his computer is being hacked. 1.23 hrs
  • Scene 163 – 166: Sridhar runs to his chamber. 1.25 hrs
  • Scene 167 – 168: Shridhar chases Vidya. Fight between Rana and Shridhar. Vidya kills Shridhar.
  • Scene 169: Khan arrives on scene. Says he wanted Shridhar alive to lead them onto Damji.
  • Scene 170: False denouement: Khan tells Vidya she had been used as bait to lead them onto Damji because no one suspects a pregnant woman. TURNING POINT: Khan asks Vidya to hack into Sridhar’s computer to find out who is the kingpin of the entire plot. 1.28 hrs
  • Scene 171: Not present in script. Panchami-idols come at night. Vidya watches a Durga idol. Charulata shot: from window to next window she follows the idol atop a truck. Ekla chalo re song plays in the background. She is readying herself for the final slaying of the demon – Milan Damji. Scene ends with close up of Durga’s lion on beheaded head of Asura Mahishasura and Goddess being bedecked with jewellery. She is being empowered.
  • Montage: not present in script. Vidya trying to hack into Sridhar’s computer to get info about kingpin; sashthi, the first day of Durga puja; women in white and red saris; Vidya cleaning her room meticulously; Vidya calling Bishnu for hot water; Puja in full swing – aarti in evening, dhunuchi dance; Vidya looking at parents with their kids at puja pandals; 1.32 hrs
  • FINAL CLUE! Vidya finds a code in Sridhar’s computer she can’t decipher. Rana realises it might be a phone number. Turns out to be Bhaskaran’s old number. Khan asks Vidya to call Bhaskaran – rest in script.
  • Scene ends with call from Milan Damji. Final link in the chain. (Nice touch – Khan forced to plead with Vidya “please help me”)
  • Pal, the informer warns Rana that Damji is back in the city and will kill Vidya. (didn’t see the point of this bit of information. Audience knows Vidya is in mortal danger). 1.38 hrs
  • “Upping the ante” as they say! Rana begs Khan to call off operation as Vidya’s life is in danger. Khan locks him up. Mocks him – don’t love the wrong person. 1.39 hrs.
  • Pre-climax: Vidya wears red-white sari. She breaks down. 1.40 hrs. Bishu quietly leaves his transistor behind for Vidya
  • Countdown to denouement: Rana escapes (OC helps him). Rushes to Mona Lisa hotel. Told Vidya has checked out. Notices something about Bishu (we still don’t know what)
  • Montage of Durga Puja at Triangular Park. POV of Vidya as she looks at the sea of faces around her trying to guess who might be Milan Damji
  • Shindoor khela: set up for Vidya’s final escape – climax
  • Scene 183 – 185: Milan Damji – jo ab take k kahaani tha. CLIMAX – Milan is killed by Vidya

•    Scene 187: 3 mins –    Denouement 1.50 hrs: Arnab’s school is actually Bishnu’s school; she used to regularly dust her room; She never signed – first time at police station when she was asked to sign missing report, she fainted; at Mona Lisa hotel she refused to sign because register was tattered; She killed Sriharan before IB could get to him; She knew as Khan himself would say, no one would suspect a pregnant woman searching for her missing husband

• Scene 190: Flashbacks. Pyrrhic victory: Vidya realises she had truly started believing she was pregnant and that she would find her husband. 1.53 hrs

• Scenes 191 – 193: Bhaskaran arrested. 1.56 hrs

  • Voice over – Goddess Durga comes to vanquish evil and then leaves; Candlelight remembrances

Notes:

•  Scenes 84 – 87: Deleted

– Vidya meets Rana at his home. This scene is replaced by a scene in front of Kalighat Police station. Vidya sees women in red border sarees going to Kalighat temple and remembers her conversation with Arnab.

– The change of location works – more colour. Also, home would have been too intimate. Would have struck a wrong note – why should Vidya visit him at his home?

IMPORTANT: missing from script – Rana says Milan Damji does not exist. He is just a kahaani

And some additional notes I made

  1. The plot moves because Vidya is pregnant – leading to disclosures. OC says husband got her pregnant and is absconding. IB – Khan reiterates the same. Emphasis on her as a victim of a domestic case. No one takes her missing file report seriously. Rana is of course chivalrous and concerned.
  2. Fun side of Vidya, making her endearing. Our empathy increases: Teases Bishnu about his radio; Gentle with Poltu; Mocks Rana. About his name. Mocks him when she makes him pick locks, twice (Data Centre Office; Damji’s house); Kicks him in tram.
  3. Rana’s growing attraction towards Vidya. Very economically dealt with. No dialogues: Concerned. Caring. Always worried she might hurt herself as she bends down, climbs stairs. Holds her hand. Intrigued, charmed by her playful side when she deliberately kicks him in the tram. Admires her tenacity. Admires her knack with children. Glowingly praises her maternal instinct.  When Vidya bends over him as she checks computer records – he is acutely conscious of his attraction towards her. When Vidya gets to know from Khan that she is being used as a bait she is appalled. Asks – her life, her child’s life was at threat. Immediately Rana says nothing would have happened to her – because he had taken up the case solely to ensure she was safe. Khan gives an amused, meaningful glance at Rana. He knows Rana has fallen for Vidya. Gifts her a sari, on behalf of Arnab. Genuinely cares for her.
  4. Detailing in sets:  (a) Calender of Sri Ramkrishna in Kalighat Police station (b) Trinamool Congress emblems on walls of North Kolkata when Vidya goes to locate Milan Damji’s house (c) Aalna or clothes stand typical of a Bengali house in hotel room
  5. RD Burman influence: Songs being played on radio in several street sequences; Song played on car radio when Sridhar realises his computer is being backed is Lekar hum deewana dil.

(For more posts by Deepanjali, you can check her blog here)

Abhishek Kapoor’s new film Kai Po Che has released today. The reviews so far have been unanimously positive. But does it mean anything beyond that – The Big picture? Over to filmmaker Hansal Mehta who connects the dots.

Kai Po che

4 reasons for not watching the increasing number of films released every week –

  1. I am perennially broke
  2. I am lazy
  3. I need to work
  4. My wife is not in the mood
  5. I am hoping I get invited for a preview/premier.

The past few weeks have been different though. The spate of films released and due for release stared at me in the face because

  1. They featured friends in lead roles
  2. They were directed by friends
  3. They were produced by friends
  4. I was looking forward to the films
  5. I felt compelled to watch them

I am going to limit my post to the Hindi films I saw because in the case of foreign films:

  1. I feel inadequate commenting about commenting on them
  2. I did not feel like watching many of them
  3. I am waiting for uncensored DVDs of some of them
  4. I don’t get invited for previews of these films

In the past few years, most significantly 2012, I am seeing a pattern in films that are successful (relatively) and appreciated. A majority of them stand out for their choice of actors, their choice of subject, their non-formulaic narratives and a host of other similarly intellectually stimulating reasons.  One factor that has begun to increasingly stand out in these films is sheer audacity. The more I think about what drew me to watch the films, to like some of them, to dislike some of them and to find some of them memorable was the lack of apologetic film-making that has mostly led our films towards pathetic levels of mediocrity.

I’ve noticed that many film-makers no longer feel pressured to make the same formulaic nonsense with the same boring people over and over again. Many of the older directors also seem to realize the futility of formula and are trying hard to reinvent. Those who aren’t will soon be history.

Ever since I made Shahid, I’ve been asked over and over again about how the trend of biopics is on the increase. The media unfortunately reads trends very poorly and looks for convenient analysis. Trade pundits who have in the past thrived upon silly generalization are very shallow in their understanding of artistic/creative decisions taken by film-makers or in analyzing the success of films that don’t fall into their formulaic comfort zones. The truth is that book adaptations, biopics and stories inspired by true events are an indicator and not trends in themselves. We now have film-makers looking for newer stories to tell. We have film-makers looking for new ways to tell stories. We have film-makers who are fearless. We have film-makers who are not afraid of audacity.

Whether it is Talaash, Gangs of Wasseypur, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, Vicky Donor, Special 26 or Kai Po Che, I notice a fearless streak in the directors and the team that has made these films possible. Even potboilers like Dabangg, or before that Wanted, or the recently released ABCD have displayed a certain audacious vision. Rockstar had the audacity to be deeply philosophical and sometimes mendering while pretending to have commercial trappings. A certain Anurag Kashyap whose films either got banned or termed as jinxed is now celebrated because of his delightfully indulgent Gangs of Wasseypur or his subversive take on Devdas. Sujoy Ghosh redeemed himself with the surprising Kahaani. Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Pan Singh Tomar was commercially successful. English Vinglish marked the successful return of a Bollywood diva who churned out some of the most cringe-worthy films of my growing up years. The list could be exhaustive and I’m sure it will soon dominate successful box-office lists. On the other hand there has been a steady increase in films (Ship of Theseus, Miss Lovely, Peddlers etc.) that have found appreciative audiences in international film festivals and critics. These films have shown a fierce independence in their making while giving alternate Indian cinema a new lease of life and an unpretentious, fresh form of expression. They have been audacious in their abandonment of what we perceived as ‘art-house’ or ‘parallel’ cinema in India. They were unabashed in their treatment, style, narratives and expression. These and many other films that I have viewed over the past year and this year have challenged audiences, provoked critics and subverted formulaic convention with amazing audacity. Even more encouraging is the fact that producers, actors (including some stars) and trade have begun to embrace the audacious breed, backing them to the hilt.

So what is the point I’m trying to make? It’s simple. Audacity is in. Safe is not safe anymore. Take the second installment of Dabangg. It disappointed because it succumbed to ‘ingredientization’ and failed to live up to the fearless audacity of the first part. Films like ‘Zila Ghaziabad’  or ‘Jayantabhai Ki Love Story’ are passé. They will continue to get made. They will continue to remind us of everything that is unimaginative and about how we have allowed ourselves to be taken for granted all these years.

So here is my two bit gyaan. Whether you aim for the mainstream or the alternate space, make it audacious. Just making it big will soon cease to work – neither for the makers or the audience. Yes, we will have regular installments of successful franchises. We will have ridiculous remakes. We will have mindless, story-less films – but my guess is that all of them will work for their audacity and not for their adherence to convention.

Audacious will soon be safe. Safe is already dangerous. It could soon be suicidal.

Kahaani2

Sujoy Ghosh‘s Kahaani was easily one of the best reviewed films of the year. Also, a rare Hindi film with a female character in the lead, and that too a pregnant one. And the best part – it proved the trade pundits wrong by scoring a big number at the box office.

Unlike most Bollywood directors who run away or go into hiding once their film has released, Sujoy happily took all the criticism and presented his side of the story when we met him post-release. I hope more directors will learn how to talk post-release and not just pre-release.

Since we don’t have any culture of “script database” in this country (and some like VVC want to make money out of it! Remember 3 Idiots? ), we have been trying to put as many scripts online as we can. So Dear Bollywood, make money from films and share the script! Learn from the greatest filmmakers of the world. Nobody has lost anything by sharing knowledge. Forget the masterclasses, this is the least you can do.

And thanks to Sujoy again for sharing the script of Kahaani with us. This one is very early draft and has been improved  upon many fold by adding and deleting many scenes. Once you read it, you will get to know.

The script shared here is only for educational purpose and is a completely non-commercial initiative.

(PS – If you missed it earlier, click here for the notes on origin of Kahaani’s Bob Biswas)