The film also features Ritwick Chakraborty, Chandreyee Ghosh, Shohel Mondol, Bratya Basu, Paran Bandyopadhyay, and others.
Last Updated: 01.44 PM, Mar 12, 2023
Bangladeshi actor Aupee Karim’s portrayal of Soma in Indranil Roychowdhury’s Mayar Jonjal was appreciated by viewers and critics alike. The actress came to Kolkata a couple of weeks after the release of the film that also features Ritwick Chakraborty, Chandreyee Ghosh, Shohel Mondol, Bratya Basu, Paran Bandyopadhyay, and others. In a chat with OTTplay, the actress talked about her experience of working in Mayar Jonjal with Indranil and the kind of work that motivates her.
Aupee got the offer of Mayar Jonjal through Nagorik Natya Sampradaya – a theatre troupe she associated with. “I am a member of Nagorik Natya Sampradaya. One of my colleagues asked me to meet Kobida (Indranil) as he was visiting Bangladesh at that time. I met him, got the script and after a few months, we started working,” she recalled.
Aupee beautifully portrays the character of Soma – Chandu’s (Ritwick Chakraborty) wife. After Chandu loses his job at a plastic factory and develops alcoholism while working as a security guard, Soma takes up a job to ensure their son’s education is not interrupted. This hurts Chandu’s male ego and their conflict is one of the most nuanced narrations in the film. Aupee startles with her poise, grace, and helplessness as Soma. However, while talking to us, she attributed the credit to the director. “Kobida made my job easy. He clearly explained what he wants from Soma– how she talks, stands, reacts, and thinks. He specifically outlined how introverted she needs to be and when she gets angry. I did not have to struggle at all. This is very helpful for an actor,” she explained.
Also read: Mayar Jonjal review: Indranil Roychowdhury presents a delectable spread in his collage of shots
While it was easy to grasp the character from the director, Aupee found it difficult to read Indranil while shooting. “She becomes so stoic and reserved during the shooting that I failed to understand if the shot was ok or not ok. He could elaborate on the character well but I could not understand his reactions while shooting at all,” she said.
By her admission, Mayar Jonjal calmed Aupee down as a human being. “My character Soma is diametrically opposite from the real me. She is calm and I am not. I talk quickly and I am short-tempered. The film calmed me down. Our shooting process was also very calm, as if, we were working in a library,” she said.
While Mayar Jonjal garnered critical appreciation, the film did not do well at the box office. “I think we shouldn’t have said that this film is not for all. Also, we could have jointly promoted a little more in both countries. In Bangladesh, I saw general people watching the film but media people remained silent about it,” she added ruefully.
Talking about the audience’s choice of films, Aupee pointed out, “After the day-long work, struggling with traffic and many other disappointments in life, it is not unfair for the viewers to relax while watching a film. It's okay for them to prefer a light-hearted film that will offer them a hook step to repeat or an infectious tune to croon. Films that are slightly more nuanced can also offer entertainment and films like Mayar Jonjal can convey that message. Hence, we need more films like Mayar Jonjal,” she said.
Several Bangladeshi actors and actresses came to Kolkata and worked in the Bengali film industry for years. Many of them, including Ferdous Ahmed, Jaya Ahsan, and Nusrat Faria, has become an integral part of Tollywood. After the immense popularity of the Hoichoi series Karagar, Chanchal Chowdhury has started working with Srijit Mukherji in Mrinal Sen’s biopic, Padatik. Earlier, he worked with Gouram Ghose as well. Does she have any such plan to work in Kolkata? “It doesn’t matter what I think. The directors and makers will have to think of taking me into their projects. I know that I would love to work in something as nuanced as Mayar Jonjal. Rest is up to them,” she signed off.