For a cinematographer who has bagged three National Awards,Aveek Mukhopadhyay is disconcertingly self-effacing. Like all good feature journalists you try to fan his ego by saying that an accomplished cinematographer is probably the greatest gift that a director can ask for,but he doesn’t bite the bait. A good film is a team product. It may have some wonderful shots but that will mean nothing if the shots are not properly contextualised, says Mukhopadhyay.
His directorial debut,Ekti Tarar Khonje (which releases all over the country tomorrow),is more of a collaborative effort,he says. We were blessed with a sound script. Madhuja Mukherjee,who is a renowned film studies scholar,came up with a wonderful script. My producers ensured that we had a sound production design. I couldn’t really ask for anything more, says Mukhopadhyay.
For Mukhopadhyay,who has helmed the camera for directors like Rituparno Ghosh (Chokher Bali,Raincoat) and Shad Ali (Bunty Aur Babli),wearing the director’s cap was a natural progression. I started a film called Bhoomi a few years ago. It was stuck for financial reasons. Then Ekti Tarar Khonje happened. I will start work on Bhoomi very soon. We hope to complete it by this October, says Mukhopadhyay.
The buzz around Tollywood is that Ekti Tarar Khonje is a gangster film with a dash of magic realism. In a way all films are about magic realism aren’t they? My film is about a young boy from a small town who comes to Kolkata to realise his dreams. The basic premise is similar to countless other films but we have tried to make it a more layered experience. Characters encountered by the boy makes Ekti Tarar Khonje more interesting, he says. Mukhopadhyay knows that those who know him as an ace cinematographer will expect Ekti Tarar Khonje to be a visually brilliant. But my primary motive was to remain true to the script. Moreoever,my vision is more austere than most other filmmakers’, says the man who wowed us with the lush frames of Chokher Bali and Raincoat.