The adventures are addictive. So when Chander Pahar was bathed by the public in 2013 and Shankar, the adventurer, became a household name, there were expectations of bringing him back. The director Kamaleswar Mukherjee, who had adapted the novel Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, assumed the task of organizing a reappearance.
But it was not simply that easy. After doing his homework for months, he based his next true story: the Amazon expedition of Theodore Roosevelt and Candido Rondon. Tells the story that after serving two terms as the US president, when Roosevelt lost in the career of the White House, decided to undertake a tour of South America and was joined by the Brazilian explorer Rondon. The pleasure trip turned into a spooky adventure story as the team navigated the Rio de la Duda, almost 1,000 miles long, a trip without mapping until then.
According to historical records, the expedition was fraught with risks. Not only was the canoe trip through the unexplored territory defiant, but the conditions became extreme and the men stayed fighting against infections and attacks from alligators and pirates to hostile tribes. In fact, Roosevelt also had a near-death experience when he injured his leg and lost a quarter of his body weight. Said the director, “Chander Pahar was established in 1909-10 and we based Amazon Obhijaan in 1913-14. It was around the same time that Roosevelt and Rondon undertook their Amazon expedition.
There is a documentary available about the expedition and I had the possibility to see it When Roosevelt returned, there was some doubt about his discovery of the river, but Shankar is a winner at all times, in fact, after reading a lot about the historical expedition, we drew the road map of the film.
To build on the drama, Kamaleswar took the example of the legends that surround El Dorado or the mythical city of gold. Apparently, several unsuccessful expeditions in the late sixteenth century were carried out in search of a city, Manoa, on the shores of Lake Parime. The explorers searched in Colombia, Venezuela and parts of Guyana and northern Brazil for Manoa and his legendary king. The best of these explorations led to the Amazon mapping. “I kept the spirit of Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay Shankar alive in Amazon Obhijaan, there were many challenges, I hurt my foot, a hollow tree fell on us, Sveltana, the protagonist of the film, fell from the horses many times, the canoe of DoP Soumik Halder went out of control and there were new challenges at every turn, most of them were the wildlife in Amazon and the tribes that have no relationship with civilization, I thank Shrikant (Mohta) and the team for the assembly of the large-scale film, in the end, it was a unique experience, “said the director.