Saptaswa Basu’s film Jotugriha, starring Bonny Sengupta and Anamika Chakraborty, follows a city guy who takes up a job as a manager in a hotel in a town up in the hills. Soon he faces a mysterious energy surrounding a seemingly haunted mansion where he meets a local girl. The story continues with engaging twists and turns, which uncover some buried secrets from the past. Now, Parambrata Chattopadhyay has joined the cast of the film. Saptaswa shares the details…
When and why did you get in touch with Param for this role?
While developing the complete screenplay we found that the character of Joseph, a middle-aged priest of a church, is forming an integral part of the storyline. This character forms an alliance with Rehan (played by Bonny) to unlock the secrets around the town to solve the paranormal disturbances. Arnab Bhaumik (writer) and I decided to approach Parambratada for this as the character arc is quite engaging and we felt that he will be the best person for this to present it on screen in a unique manner. We have seen him doing an array of different characters both in Bengali and Hindi and we needed someone of that versatility to make the character of Joseph believable.
Who does he play in the film?
He plays the priest of a local church in Nishadgunj, the fictional town where the film takes place. He is a respectable person in the community and upon meeting Rehan, he becomes kind of his mentor and guides him in various ways to understand the history of Nishadgunj. It’s a very interesting character and becomes integral to a number of key points in the plot. Since it’s a horror thriller, we are unable to divulge more about the narrative at this point but the audience will be in for a lot of surprises.
What are your thoughts on having him on board?
I had met Parambratada many years back when he had played Topshe. He was in South City (Mall) and I was there after my school. I excitedly went up to him and talked about Bombayier Bombete. So I have been following most of his works right to his recent ones in Bollywood and here. I wanted to offer him a character which has depth and importance to the core story. He is a thinking actor, and adds layers to a character which is beneficial to the final output. Being a film-maker himself, he is very flexible in terms of screenplay, shot design and so on and it makes things easy for us. Definitely it’s a learning experience for me as well and am excited to complete the filming.
The character poster
What is the story behind this character poster?
The poster is quite interesting and it does not reveal much yet takes the suspense element a notch higher. We see a hooded figure in the backdrop of a town covered in blue haze, mist with obscure shadows, a railway track and a red signal, with a cottage in fire. All these are elements from our film, the events that centre around Joseph. The signal structure is designed in the fashion of an IH monogram, an ancient symbol related to the church. It has a significance to the story as well. These kinds of subtle symbolic references are put in throughout our designs and film visuals. The poster is meant to give an intro to the character yet not revealing the look. It will hopefully make the viewers more excited to see how Paramda as Joseph will be presented in this film.
What is the status of the film right now?
The film is ready to be shot in the hills. We have chosen some great locations in North Bengal. The ongoing lockdown and restrictions are causing the delay. I must appreciate our producer Raktim Chatterjee who has taken a leap of faith to target a film for theatrical release and producers like him are needed more to maintain a stable market currently in the film scenario here. They and the associate producer SSG Entertainment along with myself are ready to embark upon the outdoor shoot schedule as soon as possible. We want to bring it in the theaters this winter and are planning a national release. DoP Manas Ganguly, art director Ananda Adhya and team are currently planning all the specifics of the shoot. We are confident and happy to have an experienced team.