Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jism gets remade in Tollywood

Tollywood is really getting ambitious by the day. And guess what? It’s all set for a ‘remake’ of Jism! The film, Trishna, starring Rituparna Sengupta in the lead, will mark the directorial debut of one of Tollywood’s biggest producer-cum-distributors, Pritam Jalan.

When Calcutta Times got in touch with Jism’s director, Amit Saxena for his reactions to this remake, the director seemed pleasantly surprised.

This is great news. Double Indemnity was the source for Jism. Of course, we did look at other films of the same genre. That’s how references of Body Heat have come into Jism,” Saxena says.

For those not in the loop, wikipedia mentions that the plot of Body Heat is “similar to the Billy Wilder film Double Indemnity, a made-for-TV remake”. Since Jism itself is a copy of Body Heat, which again is a copy of Double Indemnity, it’s almost going on a wild goose chase to figure out who needs to take rights from whom!

Jalan, on his part, seems to understand this well when he says that Jism owes its roots to Double Indemnity. “I’ve only adopted the theme of Body Heat and then added commercial ingredients to my film. The artistic value of the film, that’s being made on a budget of Rs 40 lakh, is at par with Hollywood. We wanted a good actor who can look sensuous. The role requires a certain degree of maturity and who better than Ritu to handle it? The posters have been designed by someone from Mumbai. Suchismita Dasgupta is designing the costumes. Television director Anindya Sarkar is assisting me in the film,” says Jalan, adding, “The male lead is being played by model-turned-actor Angshuman. We wanted someone who is raw.

I think Angshuman is just right to feel Ritu’s body on screen.” Says Angshuman, who started his modelling career in Kolkata before shifting to Mumbai, “I’ve done campaigns for Dreams Candy, Eno, Simoko mobiles, Thunder Jeans, among others. Initially, I was a little apprehensive about shooting those steamy scenes. But Rituparna is so professional that I don’t have any problems.”

But can Trishna do for Tollywood what Jism did for Bollywood? Says Rituparna, “It’s an interesting role about the desires of a woman. Perhaps, it could set a new trend. I want new actors to join Tollywood. That’s why I personally suggested Angshuman. Apart from great looks, his face also looks innocent.”

Arindam Sil, who is also there in the cast, says, “This is a bold film and if shot well, it could become a turning point in Tollywood.” Saxena, on his part, says, “The impact of Jism in Bollywood is something we discovered in hindsight. The movie explored the genre of film noir. More than categorising Jism as a skin flick, it should be seen as a film that hasn’t soft peddled with emotions like lust and greed. It set the trend of
making films like Ek Haseena Thi and recently, Race.”

One can only hope that Tollywood too will usher in this trend. The icing on the cake will be if it happens by the time Saxena comes to Kolkata in November for 10 days to shoot his next film — Tina Ki Chabi — a comic caper starring Ravir Shorey and a new girl.


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