Your latest movie Rupkatha Noy was highly appreciated by the audience. As the director of this successful film please share your thoughts with us….
Honestly, we did not expect such widespread positive reception of Rupkatha Noy from such a large cross-section of the audience. It was really a very rewarding experience. The film was taken in the desired perspective and the novelty of its form and storytelling was noted with appreciation. The critical acclaim is also very encouraging. We got some rave reviews from very honorable reviewers and that has boosted our morale for making good meaningful cinema in Bengali. I earnestly appeal to the audience to stand by good Bengali films by watching them in theatres. I am afraid there is an increased tendency to wait for its telecast on television or get a dvd or even watch its pirated version, downloading torrent from the net. This is really posing a threat as good Bengali cinema can only survive if the audience watches it in theatres.
In the movie ‘Rupkatha Noy’ Soumitro Chatterjee has played the main lead which was another high point of the movie. Do you think the Bengali audience has started appreciating Sri. Chatterjee in these new characters or are they still stuck with his image of Feluda or Apu?
This is a very sensitive issue and I might be notching up a furious debate with my views ! But I really think the admirers of Soumitra Chatterjee should have a more passionate interest in his recent works. Legend that he is, a row of classics is tagged under his belt and some of them are landmarks in the history of cinema. No qualms about that. We have clapped and praised them, which they thoroughly deserve, and would certainly carry on doing so. But along with basking in nostalgic glory, we should also spare some enthusiasm for the present, where he stands, as glorious as ever, edging towards eighty, and still furiously creative. Presently, he is going through a very exciting phase in his acting career, analysing and experimenting with his acting form in a more dynamic way and Rupkatha Noy is just an example of that renewed brilliance.
Sohini, who can be aptly called director ‘Atanu Ghosh’s find’, has now made it big for herself in the industry and now many directors are eager to cast her in their movies. How do you feel about this?
I was very confident about both the newcomers – Sohini Sarkar and Nina Chakrabarty (Rina – the petrol pump girl). As Gaurav Chakrabarty has done quite a few films, I am not including him in this new entrant list. They are quite gifted and should go a long way if they continue to be diligent and sincere and popularity does not go into their head!
Atanu Ghosh’s movies always have an element of mystery in the sub-plots but now the audience is looking forward to a full-fledged crime-thriller from Atanu Ghosh, have you thought anything about this?
I am also keen about making a thriller. But the form and plot should be strikingly different, because it is a popular genre and we come across too many thrillers being made today. Infact, it is a common saying that sleuths and ghosts are having a gala time in Bengali films now!
Please shed some light on your upcoming projects..
I have two ready scripts. But I don’t know which one would go to the floor first. That depends on who is going to produce it. Talks are on but it is yet to be finalized.
Mr. Soumitra Chatterjee was there in both your movies. Will he be seen in your next movie too?
Soumitra Chatterjee is a delight to work with. His presence enriches and enlightens me not only in the field of acting or cinema, but also literature, theatre, poetry, other art forms and even life itself, because he is a remarkable human being. We often spend hours chatting on things even remotely connected with cinema or theatre. Filmmakers of our generation are lucky to have the opportunity of working with this legend. If ever, I get a suitable character for him in any of my scripts, I would certainly fall back on him. Apart from Soumitra Chatterjee, I have always been an ardent admirer of quite a few actors from the older generation. Some of them, I had the privilege of working in my telefilms, like Supriya Devi, Subhendu Chatterjee, Haradhan Banerjee, Gnanesh Mukherjee, Gita Dey and many others. I learnt a lot from them because they are brilliant artists and such colorful personalities. In my 4th film (Ek Phaali Rodh), which I have already completed, I had the honour of working with yet another renowned veteran – Dhritiman Chatterjee, and it was again a memorable experience.