Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai Bachchan gears up to make Hollywood comeback with Isheeta Ganguly’s debut directorial, The Letter.
Adapted from Ganguly’s own musical theatre production Three Women, the film is based on the letter of Kadambari Devi who was Tagore’s sister-in-law. Aishwarya has read the script and will be playing the lead.
The director says: “The musical theatre that I wrote and directed was crafted on the evolution of two protagonists from Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s novellas – The Home And The World and The Empty Nest (Bimala and Charu). Along with a 21st-century spin given to Kadambari Devi, a Sex and The City-esque ghost character. For the film, I have adapted the story into the modern-day context and made it into a mother-daughter story.”
Although Ganguly wanted to make the film in Hindi, it was the actor who suggested she make it in English. “Aishwarya and I were in discussion before the pandemic hit. I was originally looking to make it as a Hindi film. When she read the script she felt that the film would fly in English given the urban American sensibilities of the story. It was her conviction that I decided to make it into an Indo-American film,” she says.
Just recently, Aishwarya wrapped up the shoot of her epic historical Ponniyin Selvan by Mani Ratnam. It is based on a historical novel by Kalki Krishnamurthy (of the same name) written in Tamil. In five volumes, it tells the story of the early days of Arulmozhivarman, who later became the great Chola emperor Rajaraja Chola I.
Bachchan will be playing the antagonist in Ratnam’s next. It marks her return to Indian cinema after a four/five-year hiatus.