Zameen (2012) – Sourav Mukhopadhyay’s Directorial Debut Premieres in Kolkata

Oindrila Chakraborty
Aindrila Chakraborty

Kolkata March, 3, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio/ Penning Creations): While the premiere screenings of many big-budget (and hugely hyped!) Bengali movies are frequently held at Priya Cinema (at Rashbehari Avenue, Kolkata), this Friday (the 2nd of March) saw an exception. Two movies hit the screens on the day, and the premiere of Sourav Mukhopadhyay’s first directorial venture, ‘Zameen’ was scheduled to be held at 11:30 am (as opposed to the general custom of movie premiere sessions in the evening, that slot having been taken up by Agnidev Chatterjee’s ‘Charulata 2011’).

JAMIN / ZAMEEN (2012) Bengali Movie Poster

The promotions for the movie had not been aggressive, but the basic premise of the film’s storyline (which delved into contemporary societal issues in Bengal) was intriguing enough for discerning cinegoers. It was expected that the premiere session would be an interesting one, with quite a few of the artists of ‘Zameen’, along with other noted Tollywood celebs coming down at the theatre. And yes, the Friday noon indeed turned out to be a memorable affair!

JAMIN / ZAMEEN (2012) Tolywood Kolkata Bengali Movie Premiere

The guests started arriving at Priya Cinema well in advance of the scheduled hour of the movie screening. One of the very first to arrive at the scene was director Sourav Mukhopadhyay and the way he started looking over the entire management and preparations for the premiere was heartwarming indeed (at the end of the day, ‘Zameen’ was his first foray into the Bengali film industry!). Accompanying the young (and energetic!) director was the writer of ‘Zameen’, Sangita Misra, the producer, Umesh Kumar Agarwal and the production controller, Mr. D. K. Agarwal. The three of them (joint leaders of the team, if one might say so!) combined quite brilliantly as a group to make sure that everything was right in order for the guests, who would be arriving soon. In the midst of their tight work schedule (which involved them to run around quite a bit around the theatre!), they were gracious enough to pose for the camera (delighting the media personnel who were present there, in the process!). Director Sourav Mukhopadhyay also took out time for brief interview sessions as well.

JAMIN / ZAMEEN (2012) Tolywood Kolkata Bengali Movie Premiere
Sourav Mukhopadhyay, Sangita Misra, Umesh Kumar Agarwal, D K Agarwal

With everything waiting in readiness, the guests at the premiere started to troop in at the theatre complex. Veteran actor Sunil Mukherjee (an extremely well-known face on television as well as Bengali cinema) made his appearance pretty early at Priya Cinema. The actor, however, had not been keeping well for the last couple of days and had to be helped up to the movie hall where ‘Zameen’ would be screened. The way in which the actor bravely fought through illness to attend the premiere show of ‘Zameen’ (in which he plays a key character) was exemplary indeed. There is, truly, so much to learn from the actors of earlier generations.

One of the very next to arrive at the theater was young and promising actress, Aindrilla Chatterjee. Looking positively radiant in a sheer black dress, the pretty lady was immediately (and quite understandably!) surrounded by photographers, who practically fought with each other to get a good snap of the actress. To her credit, Aindrilla Chatterjee was patient enough to pose for the shutterbugs and her vibrant smile bowled everyone present at Priya Cinema over. Indeed, the cameras seemed to refuse to stop clicking, as Aindrilla waved at the media representatives and answered questions from journalists. Her appearance once again proved that there was nothing like a pretty, lively face to inject that extra dash of life to any occasion.

Dolon Roy, the leading lady of ‘Zameen’, also made her appearance soon thereafter at Priya Cinema. Dressed in a resplendent white designer salwar, the arrival of the popular actress sent the cameramen and media people in a fresh tizzy. As Dolon Roy moved towards the movie hall, the spotlights, the mikes (and, of course, the cameras!) seemed to follow her all the way through. The lady did not disappoint anyone either, interacting with the journalists and posing for cameramen (even inside the actual movie theater hall!). Eminent television and film actor Satinath Mukhopadhyay was also amongst those present (with his magnificent voice in tow!).

As the hands of the clock started to move towards 11:30, well-known (and highly regarded!) leading man of the Bengali film industry, Abhishek Chatterjee, arrived at Priya Cinema. The actor, who has starred in many Tollywood hits, had dropped by to convey his best wishes to the entire team of ‘Zameen’. It was nice to see such camaraderie and goodwill among the members of the Bengali movie fraternity, which certainly bodes well for the development of Tollywood in future. Several other guests also made their appearance soon enough at the theatre.

Everyone then proceeded to the first floor of Priya Cinema, where the movie would actually be screened. A brief press meet was held before the start of the film and, after an introductory speech by Satinath Mukhopadhyay, director Sourav Mukhopadhyay was invited to address the audience. The filmmaker, on his part, promptly called upon all his cast and crew members on the stage. It was refreshing to see that, Sourav Mukhopadhyay took the trouble of separately inviting each guest onstage (where a simple ‘everyone please come up’ would have been enough!). The keen eye for detail that the young filmmaker possessed was evident to one and all by this simple act.

With everyone present onstage, Sourav Mukhopadhyay first thanked Abhishek Chatterjee for attending the premiere and then requested him to say a few words. The latter, looking smart in a semi-formal shirt and a cap, expressed his best wishes for the film. Abhishek also said that, for the overall growth and development of the Tollywood industry, it was important that socially relevant films like ‘Zameen’ succeeded at the box-office. The mike was next passed on to Dolon Roy, who expressed confidence regarding the high quality of filmmaking that ‘Zameen’ boasted of. The actress also requested the viewers to watch the movie patiently and, if they liked it (Roy was positive that they would!), they could easily spread the word among other moviegoers, ensuring that ‘Zameen’ would indeed become a hit. Similar sentiments were echoed by director Sourav Mukhopadhyay too.

The microphone was then handed over to the producer of ‘Zameen’, Mr. Umesh Kumar Agarwal. He too said that the movie was not a regular masala fare and expressed his belief that it would be uniformly liked by all members of the audience. Sourav Mukhopadhyay also mentioned that music was one of the high points of his movie, ‘Zameen’. He said that the movie had as many as seven rabindrasangeets and one folk song, and music-lovers would indeed be mesmerized by the musical score of the film (with so many songs of Tagore being present in the movie, we certainly do agree!).

Veteran actress Supriya Devi (who essays a pivotal role in ‘Zameen’) could not, however, attend the premiere of the movie. As the director explained, extreme ill-health had rendered the actress completely unable to even get up from bed (we wish her a speedy recovery). The press meet concluded with young singer Shirshaa handing over flower bouquets to all the guests who were on stage.

Once the premiere function was over, everyone took their seats and the opening credits of ‘Zameen’ started to roll. We were, in fact, running late by a good half hour, but then, for a really well-made movie, it is always worth the wait, right? The hall was not exactly fully packed, but those who were there got to see a really nice film indeed.

Here’s wishing the entire team of ‘Zameen’ all the very best. We sincerely hope that the movie manages to cover a lot of land during its theatrical run!

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