While filmmaker Kaushik Ganguly recently announced that the idea of his next film Jyeshtha Putra struck him while watching late filmmaker and cultural icon Rituparno Ghosh closely during his father’s death, filmmaker Pratim Gupta has claimed that story was jointly conceived and written by him and Ghosh. Ganguly had also said that Ghosh had himself developed the story and handed it to him
In an interview with Ei Samay, a Bengali daily, Gupta said that Jyeshtha Putra is based on Onyo Nayak, written by him and Ghosh. Gupta reportedly had an idea that Ganguly was making a film on Ghosh’s concept but did not know that it was based on Onyo Nayak.
Speaking on how his collaboration with Ghosh on Onyo Nayak began, Gupta said, “I knew Ritu da socially. I went to narrate a script to him as I wanted to cast him in an important character in the film. I am talking about the time before Aarekti Premer Golpo (2010). Anyway, he really liked the script and agreed to do the film. Then, he asked me to write a script with him.”
Ghosh and Gupta then regularly met and discussed the script. “The primary concept of Onyo Nayak was by Ritu da and the rest was done in collaboration. He really liked the way the screenplay was designed and the characters were introduced. We spent weeks with the characters,” reminisced Gupta. Ghosh had cast Prosenjit Chatterjee to play Arindam, Jaya Bachchan was selected to play his aunt and Rituparna Sengupta, Indrani Halder and Riya Sen were thought of for different female characters in Arindam’s life.
According to Gupta, he did not go to collect the script after Ghosh’s death as it was hard for him to face his demise. He also specifically mentioned that he did not call the press to talk about the matter; rather was contacted by some close source as they were aware of the progression of Onyo Nayak. He believes that Chatterjee is unaware of the source of the story, but Ganguly knew about it as he was a regular visitor at Ghosh’s place. Ganguly and Ghosh were working together on Aarekti Premer Golpo while Onyo Nayak was being written.
Actor Prosenjit Chatterjee shared in an interview with the Ananda Bazar Patrika, a daily, that Ghosh was inspired by his life to write the story and was going to make the film in 2010 when Chatterjee asked him to wait. Ghosh too agreed to postpone as Chatterjee was then busy shooting for Srijit Mukherji’s Autograph (2010).
Gupta stated that he was not too surprised, but felt sad as he won’t be able to make the film ever.
Ganguly had stated that Ghosh’s name will be there in the credits, hoarding and poster once the film is released in 2019. He also mentioned that Ghosh did not charge a penny for the royalty of the story. Helmed by Ganguly, Jyeshtha Putra, starring Prosenjit Chatterjee and Ritwick Chakraborty, will go on floors on 5 December in Bolpur, West Bengal.