‘Begum Jaan’, the Hindi remake of Srijit Mukherji’s ‘Rajkahini’, featuring Vidya Balan in the lead as the madam of a brothel, which was to kick-start in a fortnight’s time has hit a roadblock following a series of unceremonious exits.A source informed Mirror, “The production team had major budgeting issues, which made many of the crew members sceptical about the project.
Three department heads who are big industry names, cinematographer Ravi K Chandran, production designers Amit Ray and Subrata Chakraborty and costume designer Payal Saluja, have quit because the makers were cutting corners.” Trouble started when the film’s location was changed from Punjab where the story is set, to Hyderabad, then Rajasthan and finally Kolkata, as the schedule drew closer. The source further adds, “The script is brilliant, but the technicians didn’t want to compromise on quality. The makers are now looking for replacements at a short notice and meanwhile have started erecting the set in Kolkata from May 17.”
‘Begum Jaan’ is set in the aftermath of the Partition and focuses on how it affects 11 women who live in a brothel that is suddenly bang in the middle of the newly-chalked Line of Control, with half in India and the other half in Pakistan. This brings an upheaval in the lives of these sex workers who fear that outside these walls they will be torn apart by predators. Chandran insisted that he had dropped out over date issues while the film’s co-producer Vishesh Bhatt told Mirror, “As far as Mr Ravi Chandran is concerned, he left the project due to personal reasons. And for the others, the matter was discussed and evaluated by the production and direction teams. They have taken a decision in the interest of the film and the story. I stand by them.”