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The lovely Sen sisters, Riya and Raima, are caught in a dilemma. The bone of contention between Ghai and Ghosh, and by extension involving Riya and Raima is the film that brings the two sisters together, a wide-screen adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s controversial novel Nauka Dubi which casts Raima and Riya in a bold wife-swapping tale.
In the novel, as too in Ghosh’s Hindi-Bengali adaptation, the two women protagonists played by Riya and Raima never come together, not even for a passing shot.
Apparently, Ghai who has produced the film, feels the audiences specially in the Hindi belt would feel cheated if the two hotties are not brought together at least once in the film.
Says a source, “Ghai belongs to the hardcore commercial school of filmmaking whereas Rituparno Ghosh’s sensitivities are far more arty. This is the first time that the two sisters Raima and Riya are coming together. Even in Sanjay Leela Bhansali‘s adaptation of Saratchandra’s Devdas the two female protagonists, rivals in love, came together although their paths never crossed in the novel.”
However Rituparno Ghosh won’t relent.
Protests Ghosh, “Why should Raima and Riya come together just because people expect them to? This is material from Rabindranath Tagore and therefore inviolable. I respect Sanjay Bhansali’s work. But that (Devdas) was his vision and interpretation. In my Naukadubi the two women cannot come together.”
Raima and Riya seem to agree with their director. Speaking on behalf of both, Raima says, “People expect us to come together. But that’s the beauty of the story. Everyone else comes together, only we don’t. Besides this is a Rabindranath Tagore story. Ritu-da left it at that.”
Over to you, Mr Ghai.
The producer says diplomatically, “We’re planning to release Naukadubi on January 23, Subhash Chandra Bose’s birthday. Ritu has done a great job.”
An added dimension to the all-India release of Naukadubi is that it re-launches Bengal’s superstar Prosenjeet in Hindi. Naturally, Ghai would like to expand and extend Prosenjeet’s stardom beyond Bengal. For this he needs to make sure the audience goes home happy.