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When Vidhu Vinod Chopra during a meeting with ad filmmaker Pradeep Sarkar casually enquired if he had any story for a Hindi film, Dada admitted he wanted to adapt Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s 1914 Bengali novel Parineeta but wasn’t quite convinced about Shekhar and Lalita’s ‘mala badal’ wedding which forms the crux of the story. Intrigued, Vinod asked for a narration and surprised Dada by saying, “Chalo, yeh film ek saath karte hain.” Dada however wasn’t sure of convincing the new-age audience.
While shooting a scene of the movie, a fight erupted between Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan after she used an unscripted Bengali expression which he believed to be rude. “Saif was really angry and noting the cold vibes, I’d resigned myself to an early pack-up when it struck me that perhaps this was how it was between Shekhar and Lalita too,” reasons the director.
Director Sarkar’s most interesting anecdote from the film is about divine intervention. While shooting a scene in which he wanted the boat to rock on the waters of the Ganga according to a certain rhythm. Despite sending divers underwater to rock the dinghy, the movements just refused to match the musical beat. More than 18-20 takes were done. The crew was ready to leave, when the DoP Natarajan Subramaniam requested Sarkar for one last take. And something magical happened. The boat rocked exactly like he wanted
Sarkar was 51 years old when the film released. Ten years later, does he wish to alter anything in the film? “It’s too delicately embroidered. Why should I? Everyone’s got a Birdman, Satyajit Ray’s Charulata was his Birdman, and I thank God that I got my Birdman. There are so many directors who are still trying,” he says.
Parineeta collected over 170 million in India at the end of 2005.Its overseas success was notable as well with gross collections of 36 million in the United Kingdom, 35 million in North America, and 15 million in the rest of the overseas.
Filmare Awards :
Best Debut (Female) – Vidya Balan
Best Choreography – Howard Rosemeyer
Best Sound – Bishwadeep Chatterjee
Best Art Director – Pradeep Sarkar, Tanushree Sarkar
R D Burman Award – Shantanu Moitra