By Shoma A. Chatterji
Mainak Bhaumik always has a different take on whichever film he does. And his recently released Take One is no different. The casting is perfect, and Bhaumik could not have picked on a more apt actor than Swastika Mukherjee playing Doel Mitra. Mitra who plays an actress becomes famous overnight and evokes fierce responses from her fans when a bold sex scene from a foreign film in which she plays a role is leaked on the internet. The film also has a subtle but strong indictment on video clips leaked on the net without the knowledge or consent of the people featuring in it. The angry responses of the people are captured in a collage of black-and-white images, drawing a sharp line between the screen image of an actress and her audience.
A single mother in real life, Mukherjee is very close to her family. “I am the same person off and on screen. I do not believe in cultivating an image of a ‘goody goody’ woman in real life and ‘the perfect and beautiful bodied woman’ on screen. It was exciting to portray Doel Mitra who is a star, but is also a true-blooded woman,” she adds.
When the public scandal happens, Doel is in the middle of shooting an Indian film in which she is playing the mythological Hindu character, Sita, considered the epitome of chastity and here she is ironically represented on screen by a woman branded as a ‘porn star’. Just like the public furore against Doel, Sita’s morals were questioned in The Ramayana where she is denounced by the public and her husband, Ram orders her to prove her purity by walking through fire. Sita’s trials symbolically echo Doel’s turmoils, as the actress helplessly watches her life crumble before her. Swastika, who has done nude scenes in a film, does not understand what the fuss is all about. “My life is like an open book. I have made my mistakes, but I do not shy away from them. I take my teenage daughter, Mainak wherever I go. We are more friends than mother and daughter. This must have inspired Mainak to feature her as my screen daughter in Take One. Yes, I have shot for a frontal nude scene but that was a part of the whole process. I asked Mainak to shoot the nude scenes in a way that they appear aesthetic so that people like them. And I asked him that there should not be an MMS clip made of them.”
Mainak explains the story saying, “Take One dares to celebrate the beauty of a woman in all her flawed glory. Mitra, the voice of female emancipation in the film, is a highly imperfect human being. The film acknowledges the beauty of a woman in her frailties, flaws and imperfections. Doel is a recklessly passionate artiste, an alcoholic depressive widow, a jealously possessive lover, and a defiantly unorthodox single mother with questionable parenting skills. I guess, I wanted to put the heroine on the cross and crucify her — that is what the man on the street does out of habit. What if the roles were to be reversed?” he asks.
Just imagine, Sita on Jesus Christ’s cross, crucified in a scene in the film-within-the-film. It uses the image of Sita on the cross as a metaphor for all women who are crucified if they do not live by the patriarchal norms drawn out sharply by the society at large.
Mukherjee, a beautiful woman in more ways than one, has her platter full with assignments from Bollywood – Yash Raj Films, Dibakar Banerjee and Sujoy Ghosh, but is not talking about them as yet. She is thrilled that the trailer for Take One released on its Facebook page has been viewed by 70K people!
From the interest surrounding the film, Mukherjee’s Take two should undoubtedly be even better.
Tunes of glory
Singer Anuradha Paudwal was honored with the Dr. Ramchandra Maharaj Parnerkar Memorial Abhinav Abhang Gaan Bhushan Puraskaar at Bhimsem Joshi Auditorium, Aundh, Pune, on April 11. The award, instituted in the memory of noted philosopher and spiritual master Ramchandra Parnerkar, is named after the 21 hymns composed by him that are sung in specific ragas. The award was presented to Paudwal by Advocate Vishnu Parnerkar. Well-known classical singer Vijay Bakshi and Anand Deshmukh, anchor of Sawai Gandarva Bhimsen Mahotsav, was also felicitated with some other awards at the function. The event was attended by Vijayamala Patangrao Kadam. The award ceremony was followed by a performance by Paudwal.
First Dolby Atmos screen in Kerala
Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:DLB) recently announced the arrival of its latest audio technology, Dolby Atmos®, in Kerala, India. EVM Group’s Jawahar Cinema situated in Kothamangalam, is the first cinema in the state to offer the new technology to cinegoers starting April 8, 2014.
Dolby Atmos will give the best entertainment experiences to the audiences by offering state-of-the-art technology and exceptional facilities, providing them with the best innovations for an exciting and convenient movie-watching experience.