There’s hardly any Bengali family who hasn’t watched and re-watched Oscar recipient Satyajit Ray’s cult classic, Goopi Gyne Baagha Byne, such has been the charisma of the film helmed by the stature of a director like Ray. Adapted from Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury‘s classic Goopi Gyne Baagha Byne, the classic is now being made in animation for the first time in Hindi.
Produced by CFSI in association with Karadi Tales, Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiyaa (GGBB) is directed by Shilpa Ranade, with Paperboat Animation Studios bringing it alive with stunning animation from script to screen. The trailer was launched yesterday, 15 January by renowned poet, lyricist and filmmaker Gulzar.
The trailer of Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiyaa immediately sets the mood for the film. The animation looks peculiarly fascinating and the script seems to be mostly adhered to the original story by Ray Chowdhury. The title track and the background score by Narayan Parashuram fits perfectly with the film on the whole.
Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiyaa writer and producer Soumitra Ranade mentions : “We started Paperboat precisely to work on projects like Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiyaa. We believe in animation that explores the innovative, the spectacular and the distinctive. GGBB is that unique voice that transcends geographies, languages and cultures. We are absolutely sure that the audiences will love the film.”
Karadi Tales who’s marketing and distributing the film across the country, is a 22 year old company involved in creating contemporary content based on the 3000 year old storytelling tradition in India, in the form of audio-books, picture books, tactile books, television episodes and now, this feature film.
Karadi Tales co-founder and Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiyaa music composer Parashuram said : “Film culture in our country is very rich. So CFSI has produced Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiyaa (GGBB) which is marketed and released by Karadi Tales. Gulzar Sahab has been an integral part of this Karadi Tales’ journey and has also sown the seed for GGBB.”
The synopsis of the film goes like :
Goopi loves to sing, Bagha loves to drum.
Despite their acute ineptness, their passion to sing and play knows no bounds. They meet in the jungle, to where they are banished from their respective villages when the cacophony they create becomes absolutely unbearable.
An immediate bond is forged between the two hapless souls, their destinies get entwined and Goopi and Bagha become indispensable to each other, just as the naada to the pyjama, the lota to the paani, the gulla to the ras!
Shilpa added on the similar line : “This film is a labour of love. It takes time to make an animation film and we have gone through the process with the people who has been closely involved in this project. The whole journey started with my interest in doing children’s books. I got one amazing book from Scholastic to illustrate, and that book was Goopi Gyne and Baagha Byne, retold by none other than Gulzar Sahab. I got excited getting it because it was a film that I’ve grown up watching. It’s really close to my heart as I think it is too most of us, especially in Bengal. While I was illustrating, I was asked to do 20 drawings for the film, but I ended up doing 50! So this little idea popped into my head, Why don’t I make a little animated film for children? If I can do 50, I can do 100 and 500 or 1000 or more as I was carried away by it. And that’s where the seed had came for. The original story was written in 1915 but it allows a lot of retelling and we have done that.”
Goopi Byne Baagha Byne holds a special place in the vast canvas of Indian cinema with its unique storytelling and smart execution. It has survived time and boundaries to remain one of the favourite films to fall back on, in the kids genre, though it has catered to all age groups alike with equal charm and effect.
Gulzar noted, “Thanks to CFSI [for making such kind of films]. I’ve been a part of it at a point of time and the Karadi family. [Making films for children since they’re the future] is not something to impose. It’s done instinctively, emotionally and about how you feel and see the culture of this land which is centuries old. This family, the Ray family has done it. The original story was done by his [Satyajit Ray’s] grandfather Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury. His family has handed over to me and I’ve handed over to Shilpa. I really like her style and the way she illustrates. So I only wanted to give away the book if she was doing it.”
Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiyaa has won the AASIFA Award for best animated feature film, Jury Award for best Art Work at ICFF, Hyderabad, nominated for best film APSA Brisbane, Orbit Live Industry award for best animated feature, and the WIFTS award, Los Angeles.
Indian animation industry is growing leaps and bounds and the league is still warming up with 2019 just beginning. It’s fascinating to see regional yet universal concepts reaching out to a wider audience with full-length animated feature films made in India, the genre which is continuing its slow but steady move. As its subtitle points out, “India’s first children’s film for Adults”, we hope the general notion of animation being only for kids, changes and it gets the sincere attention it deserves.
Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiyaa will be embarking on their musical and adventurous journey across 150 theatres in the country on 1 March 2019.