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Exclusive: Basabdatta Chatterjee opens up about shooting Chupkatha in a day’s time

Basabdatta Chatterjee and Rahul Banerjee worked together in Chupkatha, which released on Addatimes.

Jun 29, 2021
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Basabdatta Chatterjee in Chupkatha.

The short film Chupkatha released on the OTT platform Addatimes recently. The Bengali film stars Rahul Banerjee and Basabdatta Chatterjee in the lead roles.

The actress opened up to OTTplay in an exclusive interview about shooting for the short film in a day. She also spoke about her projects which was released in 2020 and what’s next for her.

Excerpts from the interview:

Your film Chupkatha released. How are you feeling?

Of course I’m excited about my film but not the current situation. Not being able to go out during lockdown is a major problem for children. Imagine how bad the situation is that they cannot go to something as basic as a school!

When a child is deaf and dumb, that is a bigger problem because she cannot express things clearly with her parents. They are also very busy and cannot spend time reading her sign languages and communicating back in that way. This is a problem which is highlighted in the story.

What was your first reaction when you read the script?

I loved the script and concept. It’s very genuine and pure. When I was offered the role, I wanted to do it.

Was there a time when you were deeply affected by a scene in the film?

It was the last scene, where me and Rahul da were tested COVID-19 positive during summers and our on-screen child (who is deaf and dumb) was knocking continuously. Even though we feel like running towards her and giving her a hug, none of us can because of the situation. That scene really pained me, especially because of the child. If that happened in my house for real, I would probably feel the same way.

If you had faced the same situation in real life, wouldn’t you have rather called someone else to take care of your child for the moment?

Yes, of course. We would have to take somebody’s help. The biggest problem with COVID-19 virus is that you cannot get close to anyone. In a fever, you can at least meet people but in COVID situation, you can’t even think about it.

What was your experience working with Rahul?

It was just a day’s shoot. We have actually worked together previously but the experience was good nonetheless.

Having to shoot in one day would be tough since you have minimal to no scope of error. Tell me about that experience.

It was tough, definitely. All I can say is, we had to do it. I guess the situation motivated us to complete it in a very limited time.

Were there retakes despite the immense pressure?

Not really. Even the actress who played the little girl was really good at her work. We didn’t have time at our convenience either so we had to shoot it no matter what.

I remember that managing the stage, camera, make-up all at such a pace was really exciting. I was looking forward to the whole experience.

So was it shot during the partial lockdown?

Yes, after the first lockdown.

Did you have to undergo any special preparation for the character?

Not really. Although I really wanted to learn sign language. Luckily, I was there when the instructor was on set so me and Rahul da rehearsed the sign language a little before getting to the film.

Did you bring something from your personal experience into your character?

No, nothing like that.

You had many releases in 2020. Do you find yourself lucky that despite the COVID situation, where people were going jobless, you had so many releases?

(Laughs) Yes that’s true. My three movies were released at the beginning of the year back-to-back. After that, Rawkto Rahoshyo released around Durga Puja. I was very excited about that project. I never had three releases in a year. I even did short films and ad films that year. If the topic of COVID can be avoided, then I had a happy year.

What are your upcoming projects?

Obijaan, which is a biopic of Soumik Chattopadhyaya. I play the role of his wife Deepa Chatterjee and a few more projects by debutant directors.

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