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দাবাড়ু (Dabaru) movie inspired by the life of Surya Sekhar Ganguly is out now on theaters

by Shahid Ahmed - 14/05/2024

Indian films have a lot of movies based on sports, be it biopic or slightly fictionalized. However, one thing it lacked is a movie based completely around chess. দাবাড়ু (Dabaru) is the first movie in Indian cinema which completely revolves around chess. It is not a biopic of GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly. It is inspired by his life. Since it is the movie about Surya's life, he ensured that the technical aspects of chess is correct as that's the first thing chess players and enthusiasts look for any kind of discrepancy. Samriddhaa Ghosh and Arindam Mukherjee were the Chess Coordinators. They ensured the chess technicalities are correct. The movie released in various districts across West Bengal on Friday 10th May 2024. Check out photos and interviews from this Grand Premiere at Priya Cinema Hall in Kolkata, West Bengal. Photos: Shahid Ahmed

India's first movie centered around chess

I am what you would call a movie aficionado. I have watched over 500 movies completely and probably over 1000 but who is counting. So, when I got a call from GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly about Dabaru movie premiere on Friday 6 p.m. IST show at Priya Cinema Hall, it was an instant yes. Just like many other chess players and enthusiasts, I was also curious to watch this movie as it not only features a lot of chess players but also few of my friends and acquaintances. Surya has mentioned multiple times that this movie is not a biopic. It is based on his life with a lot of fiction added. So those who are familiar with his life will know which are facts and which are fiction. I have known him for more than quarter of a century. Our old stomping grounds were Alekhine Chess Club at Gorky Sadan in Kolkata. I grew up watching Surya da, Sandipan da and Neelotpal da. Back then internet was not available, so seeing Vishy Anand in person was out of question. As a kid we used to get to see top GMs only at Goodricke International GM Open, India's first and only GM tournament before 2000. That was also the only event where we got to see GM Dibyendu Barua once in a year.

Surya and friends (L to R): GM Deep Sengupta, IM Arghyadip Das, GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly, Arindam Mukherjee, GM Sandipan Chanda, Samriddhaa Ghosh and IM WGM Nisha Mohota

It is quite difficult for me to recall the last movie I watched at Priya Cinema Hall. The last movie I had watched before this was probably Spiderman 3 in 2007. These days, I rarely watch any movie at a theater. Oppenheimer was the last one both me and Surya watched at a theater. Before that I watched Joker in 2019, in a pre-pandemic era. I arrived at around 5:15 p.m. and saw a large crowd in front of Priya Cinema Hall in Kolkata, West Bengal.

The first thing I noticed outside of Priya Cinema Hall - a large crowd

I found GM Deep Sengupta, IM Nisha Mohota, Samriddhaa Ghosh with her parents and Arindam Mukherjee, the Chess Coordinators waiting there. After a while, GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly arrived with his parents and his better half. Unfortunately his better half Sudeshna could not attend the Grand Premiere as both of their kids are very young.

GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly with his parents

The chess themed attire can easily help you identify and fathom the importance of the sport in their lives.

Dabaru movie poster partially obscured by the greenery in front of the theater

GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Director of Dabaru - Pathikrit Basu getting interviewed by the local media

Did you just record what we were saying? No it's just a candid photo

The above photo is perhaps the best photo I shot on that evening. It perfectly encapsulates the camaraderie between two childhood close friends who have known each other for the better part of their lives.

 

Windows Production, the production house of the movie, decided to felicitate the GMs present at the Grand Premiere.

Felicitation of GMs (L to R): IM WGM Nisha Mohota, GM Sandipan Chanda, GM Deep Sengupta, GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly and GM Dibyendu Barua

The entire cast and crew of the movie (it is difficult to get them all in one frame)

After watching the 131-minute-long movie, I interviewed a few people, starting with Surya's friends and their thoughts of the movie.

GM Deep Sengupta, IM Arghyadip Das and IM WGM Nisha Mohota Reviews দাবাড়ু (Dabaru) | Video: ChessBase India

L to R: Parents of Samriddhaa - Tushar Kanti Ghosh, Neela Ghosh, Samriddhaa Ghosh and Arindam Mukherjee

Getting a hold of Surya was not easy after the movie got over as he had to attend the cast and crew of the movie. So I decided to take the above photo in front of the movie premiere poster. Samriddhaa Ghosh and Arindam Mukherjee were the Chess Coordinators for the movie. They ensured the technical aspect with regard to chess in the movie is correct.

Chess has been my whole life from childhood till now - Samriddhaa Ghosh, Chess Coordinator, Dabaru | Video: ChessBase India
All parents should watch this movie with their kid - Tushar and Neela Ghosh, Parents of Samriddhaa Ghosh | Video: ChessBase India
Interview with Arindam Mukherjee, Chess Coordinator, Dabaru (Bangla audio) | Video: ChessBase India

I also got a hold of the Dialogue Writer of the movie - Arpan Gupta. Since the better part of my work involves a lot of writing and I am fascinated by the aspect of creative writing. I decided to pick his brains for a few minutes.

The most important thing is to understand the character - Arpan Gupta, Dialogue Writer, Dabaru | Video: ChessBase India

Finally got a hold of Surya and did a long awaited interview about his movie - Dabaru.

It was emotional... My family's journey was shown in a very nice way - GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly | Video: ChessBase India

Dabaru posters inside Priya Cinema Hall in Kolkata, West Bengal

In case you still have not watched this movie yet, check out the trailer below and visit a theater of your choice.

Dabaru Official trailer | Video: Windows

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