Critically acclaimed actress Konkona Sen Sharma says her “middle-of-the-road” sensibilities on movies come from the fact that as a child, she was not allowed to watch commercial entertainers either in Hindi or her Bengali.
The daughter of celebrated filmmaker Aparna Sen, Konkona told IANS: “I did not really grow up watching commercial Hindi films or Bengali films. My mother did not allow me to watch it. So, I have always watched different kind of films and my sensibilities lie with, I think, more middle-of-the-road sensible kind of cinema anyway.
“So that I think reflects in my films as well.”
Konkana, who has impressed cinema-goers with her low-on-glamour and high-on-performance roles in movies like “15 Park Avenue”, “Mr. and Mrs. Iyer”, “Omkara”, “Page 3” and “Wake Up Sid”, will next be seen in “Gour Hari Dastaan – The Freedom File”.
A biopic on freedom fighter Gour Hari Das, the movie will see Konkona portraying the role of Lakshmi Das, the wife of Gour Hari Das.
“It was quite a challenge,” she said, and added: “Lakshmi Das is double my age, she has been a loyal supporting wife, especially when people were not believing Das-ji, ridiculed him thinking that he was a fraud…the building society people, the government of course was not supportive of him…she has always been a loyal supporter.”
Getting into the character was not so difficult for Konkana because “the script was very well written” and since the team had met the real life people on whom the film is based.
“We interacted with them, they even came to the sets, so one got a feel of the characters. It was like the script was coming alive…it was also very well-researched.”
Also, shooting with a cast of National Film Award winners was “great” for her.
“It is a great cast, so shooting was fun. Vinay (Pathak), Ranvir (Shorey), Saurabh Shukla, Tannishtha (Chatterjee)…one knew the people since we have worked together before and known each other socially otherwise, so it was fun.”
“Gour Hari Dastaan – The Freedom File” was screened at London Indian Film festival, New York Indian Film Festival, Venice Film Festival and has already won an award at Extravagant India Film Festival in Paris.
How important and effective is the ‘international return stamp’ for a film’s publicity?
“To a certain extent, the international return stamp does work. After all, these films are niche films… after all neither do they have the budget to do the marketing in such way that it reaches everybody, and have very little publicity.
“Many people don’t know about it, they don’t have that many shows, so film festivals do help in terms of publicity. That way, people across the world get to watch such films. It is great for such films which don’t have much funds to begin with,” Konkona said.