Creating Misir Ali for the big screen is a big task because Misir Ali is big. He is one of the iconic characters Bangladeshi and Bangla literature has ever created. During my post production trip to Kolkata for Debi, I saw several kids buying Misir Ali Shomogro from College Street. They were very excited.
Every person who has known Misir is excited about him. They love him. They know the way he walks and talks, his almost magical ability to see through things, his impulsivity and sense of humor. Every reader has seen Misir in his head. As a reader, I have seen him too. So, there are like millions of Misir Alis living in our minds and I realized that my Misir will never match completely with another's. So, what now?
Eventually, I had to accept that the only thing we can do is to find an actor who can deliver the essence of Misir, who can hold that blend of logic and impulsivity with ingenuity. That's it, nothing more, nothing less.
Chanchal bhai is loved by all, but it was a relief to see how people loved his grey hair, his impulsivity and his sense of humor. They whole Shamoly Theatre was laughing when Misir was calling a villager “kola bhai”. I heard people loved this part in almost every other theatre as well.
Yes, I heard the audience wanted to see Misir some more, but they accepted our Misir. And I knew people would want to see Misir more, because the Misir living in our minds are the culmination of many Misir books, not exactly the Misir of Debi, the first novel of the series. Well, we had one scene, almost like a separate story, showing Misir's magic right at the beginning. A pre-title.
We shot it, but during the edit it looked a bit separated from the story and it was a separate story. Then we thought of using it as a Misir teaser. But that did not happen due to time crunch. Now looking back, it seems the scene might have worked, people would have had a bit more of Misir.
But, never mind. We kind of remained true to the Misir of the novel Debi.
Anam Biswas is a Director, Advertiser, Composer and Writer