“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” This seems to be the motto of the Indo – French film ‘Burning Calcutta’ which weaves a love story on the tapestry of one of the dastardly blemishes on the face of our “City of Joy” the AMRI hospital fire. Directed by Kajal Chaudhury the film is a tribute to the victims of the AMRI Hospital fire. British stage actor Mathew Rutherford plays the lead role and he is being ably supported by French super model & actress Marion Ossent, Ankita Majumdar, Rohit Sen and Suparna Malakar. The press meet of this Indo-French venture took place at Golf Towers in Kolkata.
Dipa (Ankita Majumdar), Charlotte (Marion Ossent), Jean Eve (Matthew Rutherford) and Rinita (Suparna Malakar) are the principal characters in the film. How their personal lives get entangled in the AMRI fire incident is what the film is all about. Jean Eve plays the role of a social worker who comes to the hospital on Charlotte’s reference. He falls in love with Rinita. Rinita ultimately dies in the film. Dipa plays the role of a radio Jockey in the film. Rohit Sen plays the role of a slum dweller in the film. He is treated by Rinita once. He falls in love with her but she does not harbour any such feelings for him. When the fire breaks out, he helps in saving people from the fire.
The film has been shot in many parts of the city and also in Purple movie town. Since the film is a tragedy, there are no songs in the film. “With my Shantiniketan ideals, it will not be possible for me to make a typical commercial film with foreign locations and the lead pair dancing around the trees” said the director. The film is not a political film, said the director. “What I wanted to highlight is that incidents like AMRI fire can happen in any part of the world. I have stayed away from giving the film a political angle as that will lead to complications” said the director.
The first choice for the role of Rinita was actress Koel Mullick. The actress was however reluctant to do such a serious role and her fees were also steep. Hence the director opted for Suparna Malakar. The choice of Marion Ossent is due to the fact that this is a cross cultural film and the French government will want to see what benefit they will get by investing money in the film. Hence the director cast her in a pivotal role in the film. Since the director has invested a lot of his own money in the film, this is a risky endeavour for him too. “I have other businesses from where I make money. I do not make films to make money. I have invested money from other businesses in this film” added Kajal Chaudhury.
The Director who has been shuffling between India and France has already planned his next two films. His next film is ‘Do or die” which is loosely based on his life in India and France. The other film that he has in mind is on the life of eminent doctor Mani Bhowmick.
The film will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival (June 25 and 26, 2014) first and then it will be released in India.