BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: The coronavirus outbreak has wreaked havoc in India with 102 confirmed cases being reported on Sunday. Almost all state governments are taking precautionary measures such as closing down theatres, schools, colleges and asking offices to allow work from home options. However, only few states like West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Gujarat and Jharkhand are still screening films at the theatres. Now, this has undoubtedly led to a lot of tension among the directors, producers and actors, who had to cancel shooting or postpone the productions due to COVID-19.
Bengali superstar Dev, who has recently started shooting for his debut Bangladeshi film Commando alongside Jahara Mitu, was supposed to travel to the neighbouring country on March 22. However, he has cancelled his journey, given the COVID-19 scare.
“It’s not that I alone will be shooting for the film… a production unit of 100 members will have to travel with me to shoot for the film. So, for the time being, we have cancelled the tour,” said Dev. However, the shooting of Commando is presently on in Kolkata.
Meanwhile, two of Dev’s productions — Tonic and Hobu Chandra Raja Gobu Chandra Mantri — are up for release in May. The producer, however, tells us that it is too earlier to comment whether he will postpone the release of the films or not. While Tonic releases on May 8, Hobu Chandra Raja Gobu Chandra Mantri will hit the theatres on May 1.
“It is too early to take a call. I think we will be in a better position to comment in mid-April. It’s important to maintain personal hygiene now and to look out for each other,” said Dev.
Tonic marks the debut of director Abhijit Sen and also stars Paran Bandopadhyay, Koneenica Banerjee and Tanusree Chakraborty. Hobu Chandra Raja Gobu Chandra Mantri is a fairy tale starring Saswata Chatterjee, Kharaj Mukherjee and Arpita Chatterjee based on two stories of Dakhinaranjan Mitra Majumdar’s — Hobu Chandra Raja and Sarkarer Chhele.
Initially, the first schedule of Commando was supposed to be shot in Thailand. Then, a major part of Commando was also supposed to be shot in France. However, given the spread of COVID-19, the entire schedule has gone for a toss. Though West Bengal government hasn’t asked the theatres to shut down, it wouldn’t be long if the state takes such a decision.