It is one of the most thrilling and exciting shoots of my life: Srijit on Yeti Obhijaan


Director Srijit Mukherji is gearing up for the release of his upcoming Bengali flick, Yeti Obhijaan, inspired by Pahar Churaye Aatonko from author Sunil Gangopadhyay’s adventure series Kakababu. It stars the superstar of Bengal, Prosenjit Chatterjee, in the central character.  

Mukherjee is not your average Joe, he is a filmmaker par excellence, his understanding of the medium is much more in depth and on the contrary most of his contemporaries are still grappling with it. Srijit da, are you listening?

In an exclusive conversation with, the National Award Winning director of Bengal spoke about his camaraderie with Prosenjit, why he zeroed in on glacier 3000 for shooting, director Rituparno Ghosh and a lot more. Excerpts from the itnerview:

In an interview with us, Prosenjit Chattterjee spoke about the difficulties the entire cast and crew faced at glacier 3000 while shooting for the film. So, tell us why did you zero in on this location and as a captain of the ship, how much worried or tensed were you about the safety of your crew?  

The story is set at the base camp of Mount Everest. Obviously, it was not possible to shoot there owing to health reasons, you won’t even get the permission for shooting. In fact, after the accidents, it has become difficult to get permission even for mountaineering. So, we had to look for a place which is equally beautiful and dangerous looking. We chose that place also because it has a film industry which is kind of functional and gives you the infrastructure. At the same time, it was 12,000 ft above sea level, a height which was required for the film. Of course, there were certain difficulties, like crevasses, the ice, the lack of oxygen, which we had to face. We faced the difficulties because we had no other option but to shoot there. The guide would tell us, there’s a 150 ft crevasse so we shot with a lot of risk. You can say we shot by holding our hearts in the palm of our hands, which is why it is one of the most thrilling and exciting shoots of my life and obviously, it was a very, very difficult shoot.  

(Also readIt’s not easy to trek and act at the same time: Prosenjit Chatterjee)

Your journey with Prosenjit Chatterjee started since your first film, Autograph (2010). From Autograph to Yeti Obhijaan, how has your journey with him evolved, matured and grown over the years?

Ours is more than a director-actor relationship. There are obviously things beyond cinema about which we discuss.  Our relationship goes beyond cinema. I have not seen a hungry and hardworking actor like him. It’s an absolute pleasure to work with him. I think our partnership is something which gave a new chapter to the Bengali cinema with Autograph and that ‘chapter’ is ongoing.

(Also readSrijit has nurtured the new me Rituporno gave birth to: Prosenjit)

In an earlier interview with us, Prosenjit said that Srijit is nurturing the new Prosenjit Rituporno gave birth to. What do you have to say about his comment?

I feel honoured when Rituda and my names are taken in the same sentence. It’s a huge thing for me. He was the master and I am just a novice. I have just started off. I have a long way to go. I am still a student of cinema. Rituda was one of the masters so I feel very lucky when our names are used in the same context.  

When it comes to Bengali detective or adventurous films, we have seen filmmakers mostly relying on literature. You have sketched so many characters for your films, be it for Nirbaak or Jaatishwar or any other film, the depth of your characters have inspired many to think. So, how about creating your own character for detective or adventurous genre films?

Baishe Srabon is a thriller which is not from literature; Chotushkone is a thriller which is again not from literature. I have created characters but I have not created any franchise yet because I did not get any motivation for that.  I love narrating different types of stories. Creating a franchise would mean limiting one into a set pattern, which I do not like much but yes, if there is something, I will definitely go ahead.  

Among your contemporaries, whose work you like the most and whom do you find the most inspiring?

I like the works of Kaushik Ganguly, Arindam Sil, Suman Mukhopadhyay, Atanu Ghosh, Aditya Vikram Sengupta. Actually, each and every director has his own strength so there is something to learn from everyone. I also like Mainak (Bhaumik)’s humour and Birsa (Dasgupta)’s thematic versatility.

Have you watched Birsa’s latest film, Shob Bhooturey?

Yes, I have watched the film and I liked it a lot. It’s a different kind of a ghost story. He has made the film sans the typical components of a ghost story, which I liked the most. I think its Birsa’s best.    

After Begum Jaan, what’s next in Bollywood?

Talks are on about three-four projects but I haven’t finalized anything yet. I am organizing the lineup of Bengali movies for the coming year. Once that is done, I will move to Bombay in January-February. Till then, in 2018 I will be busy with the shooting of my other projects including Uma and the ‘Bhawal Sanyasi’ inspired fictional film. Once the shooting of the films are complete, Bengali releases of 2018 will be set and then I will look into the Hindi releases but I can’t really talk about it right now.

With so many Bengali films releasing during Durga pujo, are you tensed about Yeti Obhijaan?

It’s been over seven years now that my films are releasing during pujo so I am kind of used to it.

Also starring Jisshu U Sengupta and Aryann, Yeti Obhijaan is slated to release on 22 September.

(Also readIt’s not easy to trek and act at the same time: Prosenjit Chatterjee)


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