Director Suman Ghosh: ‘Wrote Kabuliwala for Mithun Chakraborty, waited five years for him’


Filmmaker Suman Ghosh has revealed that he had Mithun Chakraborty on his mind when he wrote their upcoming film Kabuliwala. Kabuliwala is an upcoming Bengali film that will feature Mithun in the titular role. In an interview with Hindustan Times, the director talks about his equation with Mithun Chakraborty, and their new film.

Mithun Chakraborty on a poster of Kabuliwala.
Mithun Chakraborty on a poster of Kabuliwala.

Kabuliwala was written for Mithun Chakraborty

Recalling that he first worked with the legendary actor in 2012, Suman said, “I did the film Nobel Chor with Mithun Da earlier in 2012. The story of Kabuliwala has been told on the silver screen, in Bengal in the1950s. I felt it has to be retold now. My retelling had to be with Mithun da. He does very few films now, even in Bengal. I waited for him for five years. I was first working on Aadhar and then The Scavenger of Dreams.”

He added, “Working with Mithun da is a separate high. Most people know that he was a superstar since Disco Dancer. And, he parallely did films which got him three National Film Awards. He is such a solid actor. I wrote the script with him on my mind. We just finished shoot and he has contributed so much to my basic thought (of the film). I often say I have husband-wife relationship with him. The way we exchange our thoughts. It was a wonderful experience. The film is likely to release in Christmas and I hope people like it.”

Suman Ghosh was in awe of Mithun Da

Elaborating on how their equation evolved, the filmmaker added, “When I worked with him in 2012, I was in awe of him. Mithun Chakraborty and Amitabh Bachchan ruled Bollywood at the time. There was a certain awe in how I initially interacted with him. This time (for Kabuliwala), I was more of my own. We now have a personal relationship that goes beyond the film and work. Perhaps, not the way he has evolved but the way I look at him has certainly evolved. Our personal relationship has also helped the film.”

A theatrical release for Aadhar?

Asked about the theatrical release of Aadhar, the filmmaker said, “It was supposed to release but then it was stalled. It is unfortunate that it was stopped. Though, I still think the film was not at all politically sensitive. But, for some reason, certain things happened behind the scenes. And the film was stopped. I still hope it can be released someday.”

Mithun’s recent projects

Most recently seen in The Kashmir Files and the Bengali film Projapati, Mithun is now gearing up for the release of Kabuliwala. He also has Vivek Chauhan”s Baap which also features Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol and Jackie Shroff.

More about Kabuliwala

A story written by Rabindranath Tagore, Kabuliwala came out in 1892 and showcases the paternal love of a middle-aged Afghan man for a little girl in Kolkata. Tapan Sinha made a film on the story in 1957. Bollywood’s first rendition of the story came in 1961 with Hemen Gupta’s Kabuliwala. More recently, Danny Denzogpa featured in the lead role for Deb Medhekar’s Bioscopewala which was also based on Kabuliwala.

Mithun will play the lead role in the new film while child artist Anumegha Kahali will play the young girl. Bengali actors Abir Chatterjee and Sohini Sarkar have been roped in to play her parents.

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