Among the problems that beset the production were fire-bombings, mass demonstrations, media criticism, accusations of murder, a skyrocketing budget that eventually settled at the $27 million mark, and Warner Brothers' 11th hour pullout that nearly bankrupted the producers.
Indian writer 'Sunil Gandopadhyay' - a former collaborator of Satyajit Ray - was brought on board to help with the script's authenticity. This also acted as a seal of approval for the Indian authorities who will only allow foreign productions to film on the continent if they contain significant Indian input.
Beset with antagonism from politicians and inhabitants of Calcutta, director Roland Joffe approached India's leading director Satyajit Ray to condone the production. Joffe tried four times to meet with Ray but he refused each time.
Two assistant directors were accused of the murder of a local journalist who had worked for Ashok Dasgupta, editor of "Aaj Kal", one of the leading Indian newspapers. Dasgupta launched a series of personal attacks against the production, at one point even accusing Roland Joffe of making a porn film. Although it later transpired that the journalist in question had died of lung cancer, Dasgupta refused to withdraw his attacks, charging Joffe with paying off the autopsy physicians and police, and demanding that he hire two Indian crew members because they had insulted him. Joffe refused his demands.