Mumbai: Director Sujoy Ghosh couldn’t be in a better place, Kolkata. “The city speaks to me and I speak to it. The kind of acceptance that I get from Kolkata is gratifying, and not only because I am a Bengali. It has more to do with the way I capture the city. Now, my Badla has opened to great reviews in Kolkata, and I feel so at home here,” sigh the director whose last few films have been box office disappointments. “Look, everyone expects me to make Kahaani every time. It’s like one child in the family getting all the attention. Arrey, I’ve to give the same attention to all my children. I am equally proud of all my films,” says Sujoy.
Badla is a remake of a Spanish film. Or, so we were told. Sujoy has another story to tell. “Badla is not a remake of the Spanish film, Contratiempo (The Invisible Guest). I read the script which was given to me by my producer Sunir Khetra pal and the one and only Taapsee Pannu.”
The writer of the original film Oriol Paulo wanted Sujoy to read the script. “Yes, when I read it, I was jealous of another man’s creativity for the first time.” From that point of envy, Sujoy builds his own case. “The same script would be made into completely different films by Manmohan Desai and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. It’s like the city of Kolkata. My Kolkata is very different from Shoojit Sircar or Srijit Mukerjee’s Kolkata. I took the idea of the original (film) and turned it around. I changed the gender of the two protagonists. Mr Bachchan was always on board. I can’t think of making any film without him.” “Taapsee came in later. She is not afraid of being quiet on camera. She can say so much without speaking. And, she is so not overawed by Mr Bachchan. I don’t think Badla would have happened without Taapsee,” raves the smitten director. So is she the new Vidya Balan in Sujoy Ghosh’s life? “Woh toh mushqil hai (That is tough). Balan is Balan. She is irreplaceable in my life. Not that I am comparing myse
lf with him but Satyajit Ray made great films with Sharmila Tagore. But, no one could take Madhabi Mukherjee’s place in his cinema.” Vidya Balan was Ghosh’s heroine in the pathbreaking Kahaani and its sequel.