The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The city is known for its old alleys. One such is shot by Atanu Pal.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Ananda Plus Bioscopey Bajimat season 6: Part I

The entire film industry turned up at this annual event of Ananda Plus, the entertainment supplement of Anandabazar Patrika (the largest circulated Bengali daily in India), celebrating Bangla cinema, to contest or cheer, at Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC). This is the sixth edition of the biggest celebrity quiz show of Bengal. The film quiz with film personalities was started as a brand initiative of Patrika, the weekly supplement of the said Bengali daily in 2010 at the same venue and this blog talked about it in this post (Link).

As I walked in with my daughter who wished to be starstruck, I saw Rupam Islam giving bites to the TV channels exclusive to this event. He was followed by Rituparna Sengupta, Dev, Tota Roy Chowdhury, Parambrata and Paoli. Rituparna wasn’t much late because she was a contestant.

Mir took the stage at 7.34 pm as the emcee of the evening, slightly more than half an hour post the scheduled time. He walked through the audience and went up on stage in characteristic dramatic fashion. He was surrounded by bouncers, his hands were tied and lips sealed.  The reason as revealed immediately after being freed was that he being the quizmaster had been receiving a constant stream of ‘friendly’ requests from the contestants for letting out some of the questions. As things reached a peak close to the show time, he was locked in a room in that state.

The teams (of two contestants each) were called on stage one by one, and the stars arrived in style- driven one each by a golf cart. After a customary short banter by Mir they were seated.

 Joya Ahsan being taken to the stage in a golf cart

The team 1 was Abir Chatterjee and Jisshu Sengupta- the ‘Twin Byomkesh’.

Mir with Team 1- Jisshu and Abir 

Team 2 was high on glam quotient- The reigning queen Rituparna and Joya Ahsan- the popular actress from Bangladesh, who wowed us with her performance in last year’s hit Rajkahini.

 Team 2- Rituparna and Joya Ahsan

Team 3 was made up by director Srijit Mukherji and one of his favourite singers- Rupam who has sung in most of his movies. Srijit has an enviable track record at Bioscopey Bajimat since he propelled his team to win the first edition back in 2010.

Team 3-  Rupam and Srijit 

Two new faces in the starry league formed team 4- singer-turned-director Anindya Chattopadhyay whose star-less directorial debut Open Tee Bioscope was a success of 2015, and actor Kaushik Sen, who is increasingly being considered for major character roles these days. Kaushik was suavely dressed in a white shirt and grey trousers. His close crop and toned physique seemed to be for Srijit’s Zulfiqar.

 Team 4- Anindya and Kaushik being welcomed on stage

Team 5 had director Kaushik Ganguly and actor Mimi Chakraborty. No prizes for guessing who this team depended on. Kaushik’s team won the title in 2014 with Raima Sen as the co-contestant.

 Team 5- Mimi and Kaushik

Team 6 was a fine balance of ‘cerebral’ and ‘graceful’- Parambrata and Paoli who acted together in Kaalbela (2009) apart from other movies.

 Team 6- Parambrata and Paoli

And the last but surely not the least in box office value, team 7 had the eagerly awaited comeback pair Dev and Subhashree.

  Team 7- Dev and Subhashree

There was a match referee too, going by the practice in this contest, in case arbitration is required. Prosenjit played the role. He was seated on a throne.

 Prosenjit (right), the match referee

The contest rolled out after a short audio visual on the 1922-born Anandabazar Patrika. There were 10 marks for each correct answer, 5 bonus marks and no negative marking for wrong answers (which relieved a few teams). The first round was called ‘Bioscopey Big B’. There were questions (including audio visual questions) on Amitabh Bachchan. The second round was ‘Bioscopey Soumitra’, based on questions on Soumitra Chattopadhyay (who was present in the audience) in a similar pattern.

Dev’s answer to one question in the second round created the first ROFL moment. On asked in which Satyajit Ray film Soumitra was cast opposite Waheeda Rehman, he, after a deep discussion with Subhashree, answered ‘Abhisar’. The answer was ‘Abhijan’.

Post second round, except Kaushik-Mimi and Dev-Subhashree, all were at par at 20. Kaushik’s team lead at 35 and Dev’s team trailed at just 10.

A packed lawn at RCGC

 The quiz in progress

Round 3 was ‘Bioscopey Ekal’. The contestants were asked questions based on contemporary Bangla cinema which they were all part of. There were questions based on Chotushkone, Bunohansh and Belasheshe. Rituparna got her second sitter in this round and she scored at ease. The question to her team was “Who sang the female version of Basanta ese gechhe after Anupam’s version was shown. But poked by Mir, she couldn’t answer what Lagnajita’s surname was.

There was a touching gesture from Ananda Plus after this round. A competent but unsung actor was recognized for his 35 years of film career- Kharaj Mukherjee. His acting prowess is unquestionable, he gets frequently cast in all kinds of cinema, yet he is neither much seen on posters nor is nominated for awards. Gautam Bhattacharya, sports editor and entertainment editor of Anandabazar Patrika and the man behind the show went on stage to call the actor. Koel Mullick, who has shared the screen in numerous movies with the actor, presented the memento named ‘Awprokashyo Nayak’ (Loosely means unsung hero). Needless to say, it was a deeply emotional moment for Kharaj who I consider as one of the best in the business and capable of playing a protagonist any day in the right role.

 Gautam Bhattacharya (Left) and Kharaj Mukherjee

 Kharaj being handed over the memento by Koel

Mir was in his elements as he mimicked Ranjit Mullick right after Koel was back to her seat. This act was repeated later on.

The first part ends here. Watch this space for the second part which had some intensely hilarious moments, mostly thanks to the next round called ‘Playscope’ where the each of the teams was called to act or do anything (in performing art) as directed. Part II is coming later today.

#BioscopeyBajimat #AnandaPlus #AnandabazarPatrika #CelebrityQuiz #BengaliCinema #FilmQuizKolkata

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