After producing Slumdog Millionaire (2008) which focused on Mumbai’s underbelly, Hollywood studio Fox Searchlight Pictures will now make a film that looks at Kolkata’s underbelly. The film is called Bengali Detective.
I may be wrong but I don’t remember any international mainstream film that focused on Kolkata in the recent past.
City of Joy (1992) remains the best known international film that talks about Kolkata’s underbelly till date.
According to a report on Variety, Indian director Mira Nair is set to helm the project which will have a private detective from Kolkata as its protagonist.
“Indian director Mira Nair has come on board to direct crime drama ‘Bengali Detective’ for Fox Searchlight. Scott Free and Michael Costigan are producing and Sabrina Dhawan is writing the script,” wrote Variety. Interestingly Mira Nair teamed up with Sabrina when she was writing Monsoon Wedding in 2001.
Close friends of Mira in Mumbai confirmed that she is indeed spearheading the project. An official statement and a confirmation from Mira Nair is expected soon.
Interestingly, the plot and the story is not Nair’s. Fox Searchlight has officially bought the rights of a documentary of the same name that was made by Phil Cox. The film was first screened at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and Fox Searchlight acquired the remake rights. The film was apparently not commissioned until now because they were looking for an Indian director to helm the project. The film got a green-light after Mira came on board.
Zola Mashariki and Richard Gold are overseeing the project for Searchlight.
You can get more information about the Phil Cox’s documentary here.
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