Tabu to play a Sonagachi sex worker, who rescues a nine-year-old girl from a paedophile

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; February 12, 2010)

One of the boldest films on Asia’s largest red light area is being shot with talented Bengali actresses including Rupa Ganguly and Indrani Haldar. However, the protagonist in this Hindi film titled Sonagachi will be played by Tabu.

Shedding light on this purported project, director Sudipto Chattopadhyay says, “It is the story of a sex worker in the red light area of Sonagachi. She is a happy sex worker comfortable in her space, who rescues a nine-year-old girl from a paedophile. The film draws a parallel between the Durga puja festivities and life in Sonagachi. Durga puja is the metaphor of women’s empowerment as embodied by Tabu’s character. Tabu protecting the child from attack becomes Goddess Durga. Tabu is my first and final choice. She loved the script and has agreed to do the role in principle.”

Sudipto will shoot all the red light sequences on location in Sonagachi, Kolkata. The problem is to get Tabu into the restricted and sensitive area without causing an alarm or protest. Sudipto says, “I have shot several documentaries on Sonagachi and its sex workers. I am as familiar with the area and its people, as they are with me. The film will be made in collaboration with NGOs of the area. Otherwise, it would be impossible to shoot in Sonagachi.”

Tabu Sudipto Chattopadhyay

Apparently, Tabu is quite fascinated by her part. “The sex worker Tabu plays in Sonagachi is quite unlike the one she played in Chandni Bar. She plays a feisty prostitute who doesn’t spend her time weeping over her karma. When she gets a chance to rescue the young girl from a life of prostitution, she takes it up as a spiritual mission.”

The film will be shot as a thriller with Tabu’s character on the run with the child. The paedophile will be played by Bengali actor Sabyasachi Chakravarty while Manoj Bajpai plays the upright almost idealistic son of the paedophile. The parallel between Durga puja and the life in Sonagachi will come to a climax when the paedophile will try to ravage the nine-year-old child on Navami, the ninth day of Durga puja.