Mumbai: Like Madhur Bhandarkar, director Ujjwal Chatterjee, is also known as realistic filmmaker. His latest film Utthan based on controversial Jessica Lal murder case is ready for release. The film ran through rough weather at the censor board. Finally, the film has been certified on July 17 with ‘U’ certificate without any cuts.
Utthan is being produced by singer Kumar Sanu. Neha Dhupia plays the role of Jessica Lal; whereas Priyanshu Chatterjee plays the role of Manu Sharma.
“Utthan is budgeted around Rs.25 million. The film is based on Jessica Lal is the confrontation between power, money, position politics and purity honesty and definitely,” says the three times National Award winning director. “The murder took place on 29 April, 1999 and the verdict was passed on 11 March 2006. After a lot of research I have taken up the project. My wife Sagarika also helped me with the research. Here Priyanshu plays the role of a political anchor in a News Channel,” says Chatterjee.
On what basis did you choose the lead pair? we ask. “I wanted a girl who was a model and a Miss India who could express her agony, mental trauma and desires. Neha Dhupia fitted the role. I wanted the hero to have a corporate look and Priyanshu Chatterjee fitted the role perfectly,” replies the director. “Though my film is a hard hitting contemporary subject it has all the ingredients of a commercial cinema,” he quips.
His first film Kaal Raatri in Marathi, was also based on a true incident. “I am not making these films to gain awards. I am satisfied with my awards. My motto in life now is to create awareness in society,” he says. “That is what attracts me to such incidents. My first Bollywood venture Escape from Taliban was a film based on the trauma of a woman who escapes from Taliban,” adds the director.
Ujwal Chatterjee’s next film titled Life TV, is based on Sharat Chandra Chatterjee’s novel Mausam. “The film is produced and directed by me. Dialogue are penned by Dilip Shankar. We have not decided on the star cast,” says Chatterjee. “I wanted to sign Abhishek Bachchan, but he was busy and had no time for narration. We are still considering signing three top stars in the lead,” he adds.
“But my forthcoming venture is based on Godhra and Best Bakery case,” he says. Director Ujwal Chatterji is so energized about the whole project “My last scene in the film will end up with Best Bakery case. Did Godhra really happen and why did it take place. I want to reveal the truth behind it. Who gave Zaheera the money? Who is going to gain by the entire episode? Why did Zaheera change her statement 27 times?,” says Ujwal Chatterjee.