By Shoma A. Chatterji
How did you react when director Ravi Kinnagi chose you to play the ‘English Mem’ in Bangali Babu English Mem?
I could not believe my ears. It is a dream-come-true project for me. Initially, I was traumatised as I’d heard that he was a hard task-master who scolds and scares the life out of the actors. But when I met him, he turned out to be very different, as a director and as a person. He pampered me on the sets and did not scold me even once. I discovered that he is not a short-tempered person as is commonly believed.
What is your role in the film?
I play the character of Ria, a sophisticated and ambitious career-minded girl. She goes to Canada to study fashion designing. Her life takes a somersault when she meets Madhusudan, portrayed by Sham, who is a laid-back, non-ambitious Bengali with dreams of marrying and settling down in Canada to a lazy and luxurious life, and living off his firang wife.
You have films like Bapi Bari Jaa, Bojhena Shey Bojhena, Proloy and now this. How has the experience been working with different directors down the line?
I am a director’s actress. However, each experience — be it with Sudeshnadi and Ranada (Bapi Bari Jaa), Raj Chakraborty (Bojhena She Bojhena and Proloy) and now Ravi sir — has given me new insights into how to portray a character, to fit into the narrative and the script. I try to find a comfort level with my directors and have tried not to give them any reason for complaint. Raj has a very fast-paced technique, while Birsa Dasgupta whose new film I am doing, has a brilliant way of narrating the script. Ravi sir establishes a friendly and cordial ambience at work.
What kind of home-work do you do for a role?
I have sleepless nights before the shooting of any of my films. I am very particular about working on my diction and go through the script thoroughly to understand the shades of the character I have been assigned to play.
A film city in Konkan
By Namita Nivas
Now Konkan will also be known for its Film City besides its pristine beaches and scenic beauty. Plans are afoot to have a film city in Konkan that will have state-of-art technology and equipments. Conceptualised by Maharashtra Kalanidhi and its brainchild Nitesh Rane, the detailed designs and the plans for the film city will be revealed soon. Art director and architect Jayant Deshmukh of Bollywood will be designing the city, the first phase of which will start on the 10 acres of Malvan soon.
When contacted, Nanubhai Jaisinghani, of Video Palace, who is one of the active members of the project, said, “The Bhoomi pujan will be held next week. Starting with 10 acres, it may increase if the project is a success. Impressed with Hyderabad’s Ramoji Rao Studios, here too there will be all types of sets, namely temple, garden, homes, jail, etc. Even accommodation for the unit members will be taken care of as also indoor studios, equipments related to camera, light, sound as well as studios which will have latest post-production facilities. The project is likely to be completed in one and a half years. While priority will be given to Marathi films, television serial-makers can enjoy the ready-made sets as well. The cost, when compared to any other film city, will be considerably less. What’s even more interesting is that this project will provide employment to the locals of Malvan.”
Along with Rane, actor Sushant Shelar and the entire team of Maharashtra Kalanidhi are working to make this project a success.
Veteran film-maker Balu Mahendra passes away
Renowned film-maker Balu Mahendra died at a Chennai hospital on February 13 following a cardiac arrest.
Balu Mahendra, 75, who suffered heart attack, was rushed to the hospital where he breathed his last. He is survived by his wife and son.
Born on May 20 1939, he started his career in the tinsel world as a cinematographer and later went onto direct some of the most memorable movies including the award winning Moondram Pirai which he remade in Hindi as Sadma starring Sridevi and Kamal Haasan and Veedu. He recently released Thalai Muraigal which depicts the relationship between a grand-father and his grandson, in which he played the role of a protagonist. – PTI