Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bengali folk theatre to get Bollywood twist with “Mast Mast” girl and Salem’s “Darling”

This will be Bengal’s answer to Broadway!! Yeah, Bengali folk theatre popularly called “Jatra” is all set to get a Bollywood twist with “Mast Mast” girl Raveena Tandon and Abu Salem’s “Darling” Monica Bedi. While Raveena will play the lead role in "Roop Sagarer Roopasi" (Beauty of the Beautiful Sea), Monica will be seen in a jatra titled "Chirodiner Sathi" (Companions Forever).

According to director Kanak Bhattacharya of Roop Sagarer Roopasi, "Yes, we have signed Raveena for our show and the promos are already creating a flutter among the masses who love jatra. It is for the first time that a Bollywood actress of her repute will be seen in Bengali jatra that has mass audiences, particularly in small towns. She was very excited about the offer and we too are. The response has also been tremendous after we came up with the advertisement in newspapers.”

It seems that the show the promos are already creating a flutter among the masses that love jatra and "Roop Sagarer Roopasi" is expected to be a big draw this festive season. Talking about the nuances and deliveries of Bengali language, the director says that Tandon is in fact not quite new to Bengali language and has made her Bengali debut in Raja Sen's "Laboratory", based on a story by Rabindranath Tagore.

Contrary to this, “Monica Bedi who will be seen in "Chirodiner Sathi" is new to the language.  But so were others like Shakti Kapoor and Asrani who have earlier done their bit in jatras,” says Ramen Palit, one of the producers. "Jatra lovers want to see fresh faces and prefer Bollywood artistes. When we heard that Monica was interested in doing jatra, we approached her and she readily accepted," added Palit.

Bengali jatra, which still continues to be a rich source of entertainment, particularly among the rural masses, is all geared up for the festive season. Jatra is West Bengal's traditional folk theatre form and is very popular in rural areas. In some ways, it has the flavour of Bollywood many times over. It combines acting, songs, music and dance and is performed by troupes that travel from one place to another. Stylised delivery, exaggerated gestures and high decibel oratory are some salient features of the jatra.

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