Even the happiest of couples can have secrets. Depicting the same, Zee5 has released a 20-minute short film Mehmaan that presents the tale of a much-in love couple, and the deep dark secret between them. Bong beauty Raima Sen, who plays the lead, seemed excited about her foray into the digital space, when we caught up with her at Zee5 launch. Talking about the short film, Raima, in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, shared, “The makers approached me. When I got to know that Zee wants to launch its platform with this film, I was excited. It’s one of the biggest in the media business and has a huge overseas audience. Also, as an actor, you need to experiment and keep rolling with new stuff. It not only gets your work noticed but also helps you evolve as a performer.”
Sharing more about the film, the Parineeta actor shared, “It’s a very interesting story where I play the wife. She is quite younger to her husband and the twist lies in how he manages to keep her happy and give her love.” With the film being directed by young filmmakers, we wondered if she had any apprehensions. “Not at all, and I had loved the script, so I was good to go. Also since we were shooting at my home ground in Kolkata, and it was just a two-day shoot, I knew everything will fall in place. Also when I met them, they seemed to be chilled out people and together we had a fun shoot.”
Raima has enacted some really powerful roles and when asked if she feels whether Bollywood has given her due credit, she smiled to say, “I think there’s a time and place for everything. When I started, I did some really lovely films but then I chose to take a three-year sabbatical and was working in the Bengali film industry. I got to do some really good films, and a chance to work with notable directors like Churni Ganguly, Kaushik Ganguly, Kamaleshwar Mukherjee and Srijit Mukherjee among more. But yes, I recently had a couple of Bollywood releases and there are two more in the pipeline.”
While many actors go by the script, many select their directors and some work only with chosen co-star, Raima has her pick quite clear. “For me, my directors are the most important factor. A good script can be destroyed if the director is bad and an average script can come out well, if you have someone sensible helming it. I truly believe that he is the captain of the ship. Also, I am a complete director’s actor and rely only on them for the entire sketch and research.”
She further added, “But yes, co-stars are also important as working with good artists can automatically improve your performance also. A scene is never on an individual’s effort and actors need to give inputs to each other to work well. In this film, I had Kaushik Sen and Saheb Bhattacharya. I knew both of them, so I was much more comfortable. Also recently I did Vodka Diaries, which was made by a new director, but I signed it for I had Kay Kay Menon, who I had worked with 12 years back in Honeymoons Pvt Ltd. I knew if something went wrong or if I needed someone, I would have Kay Kay to rely on.”
Zee5 launched 20 originals in six languages and the actor believes it’s a great move to reach out to the regional audience. “Most films and web series are Hindi or English centric but to branch out in so many language is an intelligent move. Apart from the platforms getting a wider audience, people would also get to see some quality content in the many languages.”
Lastly as we mentioned sister Riya and her marriage, we asked Raima about her plans of tying the knot. Giving out a smile, she said, “I don’t know. These things can never be planned. It will happen when it has to. It’s all destiny.”
Produced by Cutting Coffee Films, Mehmaan is directed by Shiva Verma and Saptaraj Chakraborty.