MESSI | Back Story of the Bengali Movie in the Words of Riingo Banerjee and Aryann Bhowmik

By J P Mandal (newsdesk.kolkata@washingtonbanglaradio.com)

The Messi Bengali Film Team
The Messi Bengali Film Team

Kolkata, Dec 16 (Washington Bangla Radio) - After a long struggle Bengali film director Riingo Banerjee managed to release his film Ghuri - The Kite in theaters recently. But he is in no mood to rest.

The writer-director-cinematographer is now busy with pre-production of his next directorial venture titled ‘Messi’ which will see Aryann Bhowmik, Ranadeep Basu, Chaiti Ghoshal and Rana Mitra along with newcomer Aishika playing pivotal roles.

Bengali Actress AISHIKA
Bengali Actress Aishika

Though named after Argentinian soccer icon Lionel Messi, the film will bring alive street soccer of Kolkata on screen. During the mahurat (first shot in shooting of a film in Indian cinema) of the film which recently took place in Kolkata, the director revealed to Washington Bangla Radio, "Messi is a story about two brothers. The elder brother Prosun doesn’t do anything except loitering around with his girlfriend and fixing local football matches for his brother from who he gets share of winning money. The younger brother Chotu, who wears the jersey titled Messi, is highly gifted in soccer skills. He is the pride of his family and the hope of their father who once used to be a football coach."

"While attending one such match which Prosun arranges for Chotu, an accident happens and Chotu is left physically disadvantaged for life. The unfortunate incident fills Prosun with unfathomed guilt, and to get rid of this guilt he attempts to achieve the impossible. He attempts to step into his brother’s shoes."

Tollywood Actor ARYANN BHOWMIK
Tollywood Actor Aryann Bhowmik

About the choice of title Messi, Riingo said, “Messi is basically a metaphor in the film. Every locality has its own Messi, Ronaldo or Iniesta. And every locality sees their team as Barcelona, Real Madrid or Manchester United. There is always rivalry going on, but in all the rivalries there blooms some friendships.  Messi here is the champion who fights for his team, his family and himself. We also want to show that everyone has a champion in him or her like Messi.”

Chaiti Ghoshal: Kolkata Bengali Movie Actress
Actress Chaiti Ghoshal

Messi will explore the street football of soccer-crazy Kolkata which is quite different from conventional football. According to Riingo, “The games will be basically seen as five players to seven players each side game. The technique of street football is very different. As it is played in narrow streets the ambiance becomes a part of the game. A player uses the window of a house, the walls, and lamp-posts to bounce the ball off, as if they were players too. Extreme calisthenic training is needed to master competitive street football. We are also practicing trick foot balls from  videos available in Youtube.”

Tollywood Actors Aryann Bhowmik and Ranadeep Basu
Aryann Bhowmik and Ranadeep Basu

Riingo is going to be the man behind the camera as always. When asked how he is looking forward to capture his first-ever sports-themed movie, he said, “I am going to use a brand new camera called Sparrow which has been specially designed to capture sports events.”

Riingo also said he is trying to involve Barcelona club as part of the promotional strategy.

Riingo Banerjee
Riingo Banerjee

Aryann, when asked by WBRi how he feels being offered back-to-back sports oriented movies in such an early stage of his career, said, “I recently read in a book that whatever we think about we attract it to emerge in our life. May be the same thing is happening to me. I am glad to be offered sports films as they are followed by both movie lover and sports enthusiasts. Movies are made to cater entertainment but sport is the most positive form of entertainment and when sports is the content of a movie, nothing can be more entertaining than that.”

WBRi also asked Aryann if the film industry if regarded as the football ground how he will make himself the Messi in it.  Aryann replied, “I want to do the same thing Messi do, that his to have fun and enjoy his game. Similarly I want to enjoy playing different roles and contribute as much as I can to the industry just as Messi does to the game of soccer.”

When asked whom he is seeing as Christiano Ronaldo with whom Messi has the much hyped rivalry, Aryann said, “In reality Messi and Ronald, when pitted against each other, they are both gainers as they enrich themselves from the game. So for me my movies are my Ronaldo as they enrich me with knowledge and experience. And enriching them with my performance becomes my challenge.”

Aryann also talked about his preparation for the role of a ace street soccer player. “I am getting trained in calisthenics to get the body language of a street footballer. I am being trained to make the ball part of my body. I am also focusing on compound movements. I have played a lot of street football in my childhood and that experience is helping me to get into the skin of my character.”

The music of the film is being composed by Dibyendu Mukherjee. The singers of the three songs slated for the movie are to be decided.

The film goes on the floors from January 5.