Right through the shooting of Helicopter Eela, it was the ‘Gang of Bengalis’ at work. There was not a day of schedule when there was an exception and it was for a sheer reason that practically entire principle cast and crew member was a Bengali.
“Kajol is the leading lady, Pradeep Sarkar is the director, Riddhi Sen is playing Kajol’s teenage son and Tota Roy Chaudhary is playing an important part as well. Each one of them is a Bengali and that meant that the spoken language on the sets too was Bengali all the time,” informs a senior crew member.
This isn’t all as even the film’s cinematographer, Sirsha Ray, is a Bengali and hence most of the instructions by director Pradeep Sarkar too were in Bengali. “Yes, it was a Hindi film being made but everything happening around it was in Bengali,” smiles Riddhi who has bagged his most major role in a Hindi film set up, “There was a lot of fun out there.”
However, not everyone was amused all the time and the one who finally wondered if it would be an all Bengali show was (surprise surprise) Kajol. “She is a Bengali, yes, but then she interacts primarily in English and Bengali,” the crew member adds, “At times when Pradeep Sarkar spoke in Bengali then she used to ask him – ‘Dada, can we have subtitles please’. Of course everyone around her played on and further interacted in Bengali, though eventually there would be communication in Hindi as well.”
Considering the fact that there is so much Bengali about the making of Helicopter Eela, it may well have been prudent to make the film as a Hindi-Bengali bilingual or at least release a Bengali dubbed version of the same. That’s the least which the ‘Gang of Bengalis’ would be aiming for!