‘Love in Kalimpong’, an immersive experience of nature’s belle with an intense love story
There’s nothing quite like the peace in the mountains, being surrounded by nature’s giants. Setting amid the lush greens, with streams of cold water flowing by, the town of Kalimpong is one of the best examples in the site of the Himalayan foothills in West Bengal. The serendipity of the place beholds the eyes of every soul walking through its streets. From the sky-touching mountains to the soft-spoken inhabitants, Kalimpong is nothing less than a heaven. And, when the environment itself is like this, it’s quite uncomplicated to fall in love. ‘Love in Kalimpong’ is a short film set in the town that gives promising respect to its culture, and has birthed the popularity of folk-rock music.
Produced under the banner of Blackeye Entertainment LLP and Chai Stories Films LLP, the short film has a commendable cast with actor Raghav Diwanand actress Rajeswari Chakraborty in the lead roles. Prithviraj Das Gupta, the director of the film recently spilled some tea about the movie which has got everyone on the edge of their seats as they anticipate the film to release.
How does the story sets in and resonates with the beauty of Kalimpong and how is it planned to amalgamate both the things together?
When love is combined with the beauty of nature, magic is bound to happen. Having grown up here, I am acquainted with the intricacies of the town. Kalimpong inhibits a lot of memorabilia from the British Period, including its architecture which adds to the complete theme of the movie. But the most exquisite aspect of the same is, we have cactuses growing here, amidst the mountains. It is never thought that a cactus can find its way to grow in the hills lest being the reason for its beauty. The stark difference between the two makes them stand out when being together. We portray the same thing through the movie. Two individuals from opposite worlds collide and fall in love with each other. It is the personification of the two with the cactus and the mountain that gives it a serene vibe.
Generally, when we talk about love stories, they have had some real-life inspiration. So where did your inspiration come from for ‘Love in Kalimpong’?
The written story is a combined effort of Akshita Vohra, FTII pass out and a friend of mine from Dehradun, and me. I have seen a lot of people go through something similar which made me weave their experiences together. Kalimpong is very famous for its folk-rock music. It has a deep-rooted essence and love flowing which inspired me to concoct a story around one of its musicians that gave birth to the character of ‘Rishi’.
Similarly, when it comes to ‘Iris’, she has every quality one could see in a northeastern girl. She has the innocence and the curiosity I have always witnessed in people around me in the town. There is a mystery that lies behind those eyes, which could only be solved through the medium of the film.
Having shot a variety of films earlier, what is that value you keep taking forward with every new venture of yours?
My feature film ‘Green Blackberries’ was very raw and straightforward talking about the education system. It was a part of the Indian panorama in the 51st International film Festival of india. I didn’t experiment much with that movie, but certainly, it showcased the beauty of Mizoram where it was shot. Similarly, with ‘Love in Kalimpong’ I want the world to see how impeccably beautiful the North-Eastern part of our country is. It is a fiction film, gives me all the power to go fanatical with the cinematography portraying the town most magnificently. Our DOP, Gaurav Roy has been doing a terrific job with the camera.
What are the major things at the top of your mind that you most importantly want to focus on while filming the movie? Also, does your star cast share the same vision?
We want to tell the whole story in a very fluid manner. It will provide a very immersive experience to its viewers that they feel as if they are amid the huge rocks standing on the green grass. My prime focus is maintaining the visuals in the most premium manner. This adds to how I finalized the cast as well. I have worked with Raghav Diwan earlier and he is the perfect fit for the character with his rugged yet hypnotic personality suiting to be a musician. And talking about Rajeshwari, I wanted to have someone who I could mold into the character easily, someone who is fresh and wowed by the beauty of what is happening around. She has been the winner of Miss Sikkim and Miss North East as well. Living in Kalimpongfor a while, all of us have imbibed the emotions of the place and dwell in the peace it provides.
As a filmmaker, what do you think is the most important aspect of direction?
Getting into filmmaking is like jumping into an ocean full of creativity. It requires precision. I think the one thing that stands very important for me will always be the relatability factor. My visuals need to be something that I have already lived in so that I know how to depict them in the most honest way possible. It is only then the viewers would relate. If you could satisfy your heart and enjoy the experience of what you are creating, then for sure your audience will end up falling in love with it.
Confederating the culture of the town with its incessant beauty, ‘Love in Kalimpong’ is certain to break the grounds with the love it will bring along. The innocence of the people through the characters, presenting the musical epiphany through folk-rock, and depicting the magic of a cactus growing amid the high mountains, the movie is intending to be an intense ride of love.