The bells of the Duomo in Barga on Indian TV
As we reported in October of last year (article here) there was an Indian silent comedy troupe in Barga last autumn filming for part of their new season on Indian television “Malegaon ka Chintu” which according to some sources had over 150 million viewers in their first series.
The new series, Chintu Ban Gaya Gentleman, was filmed for the first time outside India in various places across the globe including Barga.
The troupe were filming throughout Barga Vecchia but the bulk of what viewers in India eventually saw was recorded at the top of the Duomo in the bell tower.
In fact, as one or two residents pointed out at the time, the bells seemed to be ringing at odd times … this was all due to one of the stars of the show – Al Amin, who seemed to have had a strong need to ring bells all day.
In part Charlie Chaplin, with a touch of Buster Keaton, add a drop of Mr. Bean and just a whiff of Benny Hill and you get somewhere close to the enigmatic and loosely limbed Al Amin who plays Chintu in the series.
According to their website, Chintu is a lively young man who lives in Malegaon, India and loves only three things in life; his coat, his bicycle and Pinky, played by Ashwini Khairnar, the most beautiful girl in town.
He is full of life with a heart of gold. He is very emotional and cannot see anyone in trouble. The show takes the viewers through different situations in Chintu’s life that make for a laughter riot..
The working process of the troupe was very interesting to see in action as they did not work to a completed script but instead more or less make it up as they go along – an on the spot creative process steered along by the director – Shaikh Nasir .
The filming that day was a good example of how they work.
The torrential rain and almost ground level clouds made filming almost impossible outside in Barga for most of the day and so they looked for locations inside.
One of the possible locations was the Duomo but the lack of light inside made filming almost impossible and so it was suggested that they move up into the bell tower.
Upon being told of the importance of the bells and Pascoli’s famous poetry based around their sound they decided that the bells would be the central motif for the shoot.
Chintu – Al Amin, procuring a tiny ceramic bell which he rang in peoples ears until finally he is shown what a real bell sound like – close up.
As reported earlier too, SAB TV is back with the second season of silent comedies Chintu Ban Gaya Gentleman, which was earlier called Malegaon Ka Chintu and Gutur Gu.
Both the shows have gone under some changes and the viewers will now see something new in the two comic capers. Like the last season, this one too will see Chintu in love with Pinky but this time he will be seen travelling to various countries.
Al Amin, who is also a part of the show said, “I got respect and love from my fans abroad. Adjusting to the weather conditions was tough, but once the camera rolled, we used to give it our best shot. When the shoot was over, we used to run to a cafe for hot coffee.”
Anooj Kapoor, EVP and business head of the channel, says, “Gutur Gu is the world’s longest running silent comedy. We were the first and only channel to successfully produce silent comedies in India. Both the shows will attract family audiences.”
Chintu Ban Gaya Gentleman airs at 8pm on Saturdays, on SAB TV. – source – Bollywood gossips
Al Amin as Chintu and Ashwini Khairnar as Pinky | Chintu Ban Gaya Gentleman is directed by Shaikh Nasir who is well-known for his comedy spoofs. He has won several accolades and his films like ‘Malegaon Ka Superman’; ‘Malegaon Ka Sholay’ has received national & international recognition. Chintu Ban Gaya Gentleman is being produced by Deepti Bhatnagar Productions
The Mayor of Barga, Marco Bonini expressed pleasure with the video and his hopes that maybe in Barga they have opened up a new frontier for visitors to the city from the Indian subcontinent.
A short interview (in Italiano) with the Mayor can be heard below