Srijit Mukherji was confined to the hospital bed when he wrote the script of his upcoming Bengali film, Zulfiqar, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s tragedies, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra. The multiple National Award-winning director admits that Julius Caesar being his favourite play, he has always wanted it to adapt it on the silver screen.
The director, whose film is set against the backdrop of Kolkata’s underworld, has roped in some of the biggest Tollywood stars such as Prosenjit Chatterjee and Dev in the film. And Srijit has his reasons for showing Kolkata’s dark underbelly in Zulfiqar. “It’s a tribute to The Godfather (1972). This is my first film on underworld and it has to be a tribute to The Godfather,” smiles the Rajkahini director.
He also mentions that every time a story idea germinates in his mind, he tries to push the envelope. “Both the plays talk about power and I thought it would be apt to set it in underworld, where power rules supreme. Never has anyone made a Bengali film set against the backdrop of the underworld. I always try to come out of my comfort zone and do something different. This time, I have done the same. Luckily till now, the audience has been with me. They have made six out of my eight films blockbusters. I have always enjoyed both box-office success and critical acclaim which won me National awards. So, who will experiment if not me?” he says.
A still from Zulfiqar.
If there’s one director in Bengali film industry, who has tasted success in the last six years with most of his puja releases, it has to be Srijit. He made a thumping debut with Autograph in 2010, which released during Durga Puja.