When the news about Sheena Bora' murder case broke, it managed to stay on our television screens and newspaper headlines for weeks without break.
First they thought it was her media tycoon sister who killed her, when the charred body of a girl found inside a suitcase in the woods in Maharashtra.
One after the other the skeletons came tumbling out of Indrani Mukerjea's closet — she was not the sister, but the mother of Sheena, her husband Peter Mukerjea, now in judicial custody, said he was unaware of the real relationship between the prime accused and the dead.
It was a woman who was married three times, a mother who had hidden away her children, Sheena and Mikhail, one dead and the other accusing her of murdering his sister. A woman who had climbed up the ladder from a middle class girl to a legitimate part of high society. The daughter was in a relationship with the son of her present husband. Add to this an alleged swindling of large chunks of money. It was the perfect scandal.
The media, too played their role to the hilt, chasing the husbands and the other daughter from the previous marriage, scrutinising every detail of the woman's life. And now, after the story had been dumped under the pile of other news in the last few months, we have a Bengali film on the murder case — Dark Chocolate — brought to us by one Agnidev Chatterjee.
So the 1st film on the Sheena Bora murder has arrived. Dark Chocolate (Bengali) - Mahima as Indrani, Riya as Sheena pic.twitter.com/yAkjPZDlog
— Rajeev Masand (@RajeevMasand) January 14, 2016
What we decipher from the first look of the film is that Mahima Chaudhary, back from oblivion, plays Indrani Mukerjea and Sheena Bora is played by Riya Sen. Both the ladies wear dramatic expressions with some blood trickling down Sen's forehead.
Since the first look has been made as dramatic as it could be, it leaves us wondering what the film will be about, this since we hardly have any credible information about the case which is sub-judice. Most of what the speculations out in the media are what the police have told reporters. There is nothing yet that the court has established in the case. And this brings us to the problems with the films based on real life stories — in the pursuit of bringing the story to a conclusion filmmakers usually use their imaginations to fill in the gaps that are empty. And that makes for bad film making.
There may have been several films based on real life incidents, Talvar, No One Killed Jessica , Rahasya to name a few, but these films were made much after the Aarushi and Jessica Lall murder cases had reached at least a semblance of a conclusion.
Dark Chocolate (why is it called that?) will not be fair to the audience who will pay money to watch it and also to the people involved in the real murder case. All said and done, Sheena's murder is a tragedy on the Bora-Mukerjea family. Unless the film makers had a direct access to Peter and Indrani's prison cells, it is unlikely they have all the facts. To make a film based on real life and turn it into your own imagined story is deep injustice to those who are accused in the case. The least the story deserves is the time for itself to unfold in reality before we rush to base a film on it.
As for Dark Chocolate, let us hope it won't be a run of the mill sensational film. But I don't think I would put my money on it.