To an entire generation of Indians, Romeo and Juliet was a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. Perhaps Shakespeare’s most popular and most abused work ever, the tragic love story will now be seen in a different version, titled Arshinagar, helmed by award-winning actress and filmmaker Aparna Sen.

For those who came in very, very late, Sen, may now be best known as Konkona Sen Sharma’s mother in Bollywood (read her interview here in which she speaks of how most people do not know who her mother is) or for the poignant Mr and Mrs Iyer.

But the filmmaker has a formidable repertoire of work to her credit, beginning with the classic 36, Chowringhee Lane (produced by Shashi Kapoor, starring Jennifer Kendal).

Romeo and Juliet was, of course, given THE Bhansali treatment in Goliyon ki Raas Leela Ram-Leela, complete with an item number, well-oiled six-packs and a showcase for Kutchi handicrafts. So how will Sen’s Bengali version be different?

For starters, Romeo, played by popular actor and current heartthrob Dev, is unlikely to thump his waxed chest in the film or wield too many guns. Although the film features the land mafia, Dev looks like more of a brooding Hamlet here, the frontman of a rock band called Garage Band.

What is also interesting about the film is that it marks the appearance of the evergreen Waheeda Rehman, who played an important role in Sen’s deeply disturbing and dark 15, Park Avenue. Rehman plays Juliet’s grandmother, Dadijan.

Juliet herself is not exactly the hot thing in navel-kissing ghagras and barely-there cholis. Apparently Sen wanted a girl who would look at least ten years younger than her lead actor, and chose newcomer Rittika Sen for the role. From the looks of it, Rittika Sen (no relation to either Konkona or Riya, Raima, Sushmita), is more of a quiet muse to Dev’s tormented genius than a seductress.

Arshinagar is being shot in Kolkata and elsewhere in West Bengal, with some scenes being shot in Mumbai as well. Large parts of the film have been filmed in some of the stunning old Kolkata mansions, which did inspire Bhansali’s tribute to Bengal in Devdas. But it has very little in common with the blinding set created for Ram Leela.

Other actors include Jisshu Sengupta as Tybalt, last seen as Piku’s 4 am friend who quietly took care of her “needs”. Better known for his romantic roles, the actor is reportedly getting a completely grey makeover for this film.