Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar on Saturday addressed the confusion surrounding his upcoming Bengali production, Avijatrik, which is said to carry forward the story of ‘Apu’ — the iconic lead character played by Soumitra Chatterjee in Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy.
In a written statement, Bhandarkar said, “This is to clarify lots of misinformation on social media. The right perspective, let me say, is that we are not remaking any of the films that were part of The Apu Trilogy by master director Satyajit Ray. The film which Bhandarkar Entertainment is presenting, Avijatrik, is based on the novel (Aparajito) written by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay on which Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy was based and producer Gaurang Jalan has taken the rights of the book from late Shri Bandopadhyay’s family.”
He added, “In Avijatrik, the Bengali filmmaker Subhrajit Mitra is taking the story forward from where Ray sir left it and the reason I decided to get associated with the project is the script and the passion of the filmmaker with which he intends to make the film. We are not touching the films made by Satyajit Ray. I am a big fan of the legendary filmmaker who helped Indian cinema reach global audiences. We are in no way tampering with the classics he made. He is and will always be an inspiration to filmmakers not only in India but across the world.”
Avijatrik will be shot in black-and-white across several parts of India to recreate the 1940s-setting of the story. The plot is expected to take off from where The Apu Trilogy ended, and focus on the wanderlust of the main protagonist and his six-year-old son Kajol. Several characters from the original books and films — including Apu’s sister Durga, his wife Aparna, Ranu Di and Lila — will be reprised in the upcoming continuation.
Subhrajit Mitra made his feature film debut with the 2008 Bengali film Mon Amour: Sesher Kobita Revisited, starring Rituparna Sengupta and Saheb Chatterjee. The filmmaker has directed six films so far, including the 2016 suspense thriller Chorabali.