FIRST LOOK –033 Bengali Film– BIRSA DASGUPTA’S FIRST FEATURE FILM
Birsa Dasgupta is a strapping young man who has already established himself as a gifted maker of short films for television. His first feature film, produced by Moxie Media and NDTV Imagine Pictures Ltd., 033, is scheduled for public release, marks the entry of Bengali cinema’s first third-generation filmmaker in history. His father, Raja Dasgupta, is a noted director of television films. His grandfather, the late Harisadhan Dasgupta, is considered the founding father of the independent documentary movement in India. Why the intriguing name 033? “It forms the essence of the city of Kolkata and stands for the postal and telephonic city code – 033,” says Birsa.
“033 is the first film ever to focus on the music band movement in Kolkata during the Nineties. After decades, the city has been able to absorb and imbibe the voices of the young and the unpredictable into its closely guarded drawing rooms. The film is a tribute to the efforts of two decades of youngsters soaked in music of a different kind, reflected here through a music band that has named itself 033 that is a metaphor for their spirit and also for the spirit of Kolkata,” says Birsa. He first drew notice with his brilliant telefilms K and Ekti Romhorshok Dakatir Goppo. K explores the enforced loneliness, isolation and alienation of a contract killer who lives within the mainstream while functioning beyond it. K, a contract killer, is writing the story of his life on an ancient typewriter.
In Ekti Romoharshak Dakatir Gappo, based on his own story, the two main characters, Gurupado and Monish, seem to step out of a Sirsendu Mukhopadhyay story focussed on marginal people, ‘failures’ in life according to conventional understanding of ‘failure’ and ‘success.’ They live off unrealistic dreams of acquiring wealth through devious means but lack the strategy and the skill to realize them. The characters are placed imaginatively in historical and social perspective.
033 is a complete departure from any film Birsa has made before. But that is the very bottom line of this talented director. He never repeats himself. Every film he has made is original in theme, plot, storyline, treatment and approach. 033 is the story of how music evolves into a metaphor of the changing times and emotions for the youngsters who form the band. With its light mood and youthful emotions, the film takes every situation as a celebration of love, life and music like a joyride through the 300-year-old city that is currently trying to inject itself with a new way of life with its topsy-turvy flyovers, glittering shopping malls, the metro rail and mobile phones. The music has been scored by Chandrabindoo, one of the most successful and popular Bangla music bands in the State who have also tasted success in the rest of India and beyond. The acting cast is a rainbow of colourful young actors, Rudraneel Ghosh, Swastika Mukherjee, Shaheb Chatterjee, Parambrato Chatterjee, led by veteran actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty. Mumtaz Sorcar, daughter of magician P.C. Sorcar, makes her debut as actress in the film. Shaheb Chatterjee, a very good singer in his own right, has also lent his voice for a couple of songs in the film.
Joy Ganguly, Director, Moxie Group, says, “033 is our tribute to Kolkata, its rich heritage, culture and music. It is a new age film structured stylistically to suit the spirit and the essence. We hope it becomes a cult film in course of time.” The 033 team has partnered with some major brands to create innovative marketing initiatives. The music and mobile content for 033 will be launched on a mobile platform before the CD hits the stands, the first such marketing strategy in Bengali cinema. Swastika Mukherjee, who has done a stellar role in the film, says, “It was a new and different experience to be part of the youth-centric film like 033. I hope my audience enjoys the film as much as I did working in it.”
Like most music bands, there is no hierarchy among the characters who form the band 033 in the film. They love, hate, fight, argue, discuss, question and make up, but at the bottom of it all, the bonding factor is their intense passion, love and obsession for music of their kind. A kind of music that is soul-stirring, universal and popular at the same time.
033 will release in the theatres on March 5.
Shoma A. Chatterji