Actress Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan is apparently doing her bit of research on the reclusive Bengali cinema diva Suchitra Sen as she is touted to step into her shoes soon. Ash, who has already worked with National Award-winning director Rituparno Ghosh twice (Chokher Bali and Raincoat), will be seen playing a bandit queen in the adapted film version of Devi Chaudhurani.
Devi Chaudhurani is a novel by Bengali writer Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in 1884 and is regarded as one of the most popular novels of its times. The film’s adaptation is also regarded as one of Sen’s most appreciated works.
“Aishwarya has asked for the DVDs of Suchitra Sen’s film which is about how a typical affluent housewife turns into the leader of a pack of dacoits. The film will be an adaptation of the novel which is set during the 1880s but nevertheless, Ash wanted to do some research on the actor,” says a source.
Incidentally, both of Ghosh’s previous films with Ash were also on-screen adaptations of well-known literary pieces.
According to sources, Ash has already seen the movie once and has even selected certain portions that she would like to watch again.
“Ash has always regarded Sen as one of the finest actors that Bengal has ever produced. She also wanted to meet her once but she knows that this wish is near impossible as word has it that the senior actor rarely steps out of her appartment. Ash is very interested in her though,” the source adds.
Ghosh and Ash apparentlysat over a series of meetings to discuss the storyline of the film and how it should be adapted in a modern context.
“The script has already been handed over to Ash and she is about to allot dates for the shooting. Rituparno had discussed this with Aishwarya when they were shooting for Chokher Bali itself but he finally got the nod from her when she was in Kolkata last year to accept an award for Raavan,” the source adds. The film will in all probability be a Hindi-Bengali bilingual.
Both Ash and Ghosh confirmed the news of the film being made.