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Bengali filmmaker Riingo’s next explores human relationships set on a backdrop of river Ganga

The film A River in Heaven charts the many connotations of the sacred river in the ebb and flow of human relationships, and is eyeing a September release.

Hia Datta
Aug 27, 2021
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Bengali filmmaker Riingo’s upcoming film A River in Heaven depicts water, the life-sustaining element in its various significations, myths, and motifs. From the symbolism of water as cleansing the mind, body, and soul to its healing properties and as the signifier of change, the film dives straight into the river Ganga and the many layers and folds of interpretations of the river in popular culture and human life.

The plot of the film is placed in the city of light, Varanasi that has the well-worshipped river flowing through it. As has been reported to the media, the dichotomy between Ganga as the deified river teeming with religious connotations for millions of Hindu devotees; as an oracle that grants wishes, cleanses the spirit, and as a devastating force that can uproot life is a central motif in the film. Riingo told the TOI that the tale of the dynamics of human relationships is set against this backdrop. “It is an abiding tale of forgiveness and ultimate realizations,” explained the Messi director, adding that the film runs through the crests and troughs of the characters and unfolds against the backdrop of the ever-motile form and flow of Ganga.

The promising film has Debshankar Halder as Babulal Subramanian, Chandreyee Ghosh as Bela, Amrita Chattopadhyay as Shaon, and Rafiath Rashid Mithila as Bishakha in key roles. Riingo himself has penned the story for the film and also cranked the camera, while also doing the editing, grading, and composing the background score for it.

Rafiath Rashid Mithila and Amrita Chattopadhyay

Speaking to The Telegraph on what made her come onboard, Mithila said that it was the ‘brilliant story and her role’ that drew her to the film. Her character is well-layered as a ‘simple woman’ who is pinned down by patriarchal society but learns to overstep that to find her own course in life, just like the river stream. She described the plot of the film as a non-linear narrative of ‘four different streams of life that flow towards one core ending’.

Amrita piped in, noting that the director brings forth ‘beautiful concepts’ and her character Shaon is very reserved and ‘inward’, giving her a ‘different high’ in playing her. She added that the specialty of the story lies in how personal yet universal it is.

A River in Heaven will most likely release this September.

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