Before the release of Kaberi Antardhan, the actor talks about his character, the film, and his friendship with the director
Last Updated: 04.43 PM, Jan 17, 2023
Whenever Kaushik Ganguly and Prosenjit Chatterjee got together, we watched magic on screen. After Kishore Kumar Junior, Drishtikone, and Jyeshthoputro, the duo is back again with Kaberi Antardhan. By Prosenjit’s admission, Kaberi Antardhan will also present an ‘acting duel; between the actor and Kaushik. The film which also features Kaushik Sen, Churni Ganguly, Ambarish Bhattacharya, and others will be released on January 20. In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, Prosenjit talks about his character, the film, and his friendship with Kaushik.
Tell us a little about your character in the film. The trailer does not divulge anything…
I cannot divulge a lot about my character. As of now, my character is what you see in the trailer. The backdrop is the emergency in 1975. My character is an artist who lives in a place in North Bengal. He left his city life behind and started living here. He is not a revolutionist but he teaches painting to a bunch of young students. Hence, he faces political pressure. To find the reason behind the gathering of so many young students. What happened during the Naxal period was that the administration became singularly one track so much so that the other incidents taking place in some other households used to get little attention from them. What has happened to Kaberi? Has she eloped or been killed? Or has she been kidnapped? Nobody knows. My character will try to bring some movement in this case.
Evidently, my character will bring something very different because whenever Kaushik Ganguly chose Prosenjit Chatterjee, something unexpected happens. We will have to wait to watch what’s different.
Does the film have political elements to it?
No, it is just the backdrop but not the subject. It is more like Roja. It is a love story. Despite being a love story, the backdrop took the film to a new height. Kaushik Ganguly would not make a flat love story or a political story. He is an intelligent director. We are aware of the Naxal movement. However, the younger generation may just hear about it vaguely. They would get an idea of the movement. They will see how the lives of a bunch of young students – who are aged between 18 and 23 – got changed during this period. But how can you change love? Love stays. We went through a very difficult phase of our lives in the last two years. But that did not change love.
You and Kaushik Ganguly offered a number of beautiful films together. Tell us about your friendship.
When Kaushik and chat outside shooting or work, we talk about cinema. He probably tells me a couple of lines of his ideas. He forgets I remind him and this goes on. He is a storyteller. That’s our common connection. When he sits on that director’s chair, it calms me down. I naturally become very relaxed. Since he is an ace actor, he knows how to calm other actors down to get the best shot. He handles the actors like children. He understands the psychology of an actor. He will bring out the best of you effortlessly. There is no insanity on the sets. We banter and relax, and yet make a serious film. On the Jyesthoputro set, we relaxed and had fun. When you watch the film, you see seriousness there. Kaushik is very sorted as a director. He never takes an extra shot. Does not show off.
Another USP of Kaberi Antardhan is that people may get to see a duel of acting between Prosenjit and Kaushik Ganguly. You will love to watch these two actors at work.
And tell us your opinion of the actor Kaushik Ganguly.
I respect the director Kaushik Ganguly and I am scared of the actor Kaushik Ganguly. I am jealous of him too. I say all the time that the director Kaushik is my friend and the actor is my enemy. I can never match his skills. He is gifted. I tell him that in the previous film, he threw Ritwick as my co-actor. And in this one, he is acting. Ritwick is one of the 10 top actors in the country. And then Kaushik comes in Kaberi Antardhan with a brilliant character. I ask him why he makes me do that. On a serious note, this is what we work for. Ritwick and I rehearsed together in Jyeshthoputro and brought out our understanding. As a result, difficult scenes became easy.
Among other things, you are seen as the ‘borda’ of the Bengali film industry for a while now. From film promotions to mitigating issues – you are called and asked for help. Do you feel tired sometimes?
Sometimes you feel pressured. You can’t help it. If you are the eldest in the family, you endure a bit of pressure. You are responsible for many things. Ritu (Rituparno Ghosh) was my support system for me. He was my age and a friend. See, I did not take responsibility. It automatically came to us. When I was growing up, I saw Soumitra Chatterjee taking responsibility. I learnt from him. And then he started giving me responsibility. That’s how it started. It has nothing to do with stardom. I wanted to do good and that’s how it started. And then I started mitigating problems between industry stakeholders, actors and actresses, and so on. People started believing that I have solutions. Sometimes I feel I have nowhere to go. Now that Soumitra Kaku is not there whom do I go to?
Rituparno Ghosh also used to be your ‘go-to’ person. Now, where do you go in times of stress?
Ritu took care of my personal space. Whether or not I should do something or which film to choose, etc.
Whom do you ask now?
No one. Now most of them are younger than me. Soumitro Kaku used to be the eldest. I have nowhere to go. That’s why I have withdrawn a bit. I wanted to have a bit of space.