The actress’ debut OTT series will be dropped on March 8 on Hoichoi
Subhashree Ganguly is all set to debut on the OTT platform with Debaloy Bhattacharya’s Indubala Bhaater Hotel. Based on Kallol Lahiri’s eponymous novel, the series delves into the pain of the Partition and its effect on the life of Indubala, the protagonist of the show. On March 8, International Women's Day – the series will be dropped on Hoichoi. The series also features Rahul Banerjee, Suhotra Mukhopadhyay, and others. In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, Debaloy talks about the inception of Indubala Bhaater Hotel, his experience of working with Subhashree, and the reason he is tense before the release. Read on…
Debaloy and Kallol – the writer, are friends. Hence the director was attached to the book from the very beginning. “Kallol used to send me chapters and I used to get drawn to it. We used to think about how to make it suitable for screen adaptation. And finally, it shaped up to be a script. It was a long process. We took almost three years for this,” he said.
Now that the series is about to release, is Debaloy under pressure? “I am tense for sure. I am tense on multiple levels. It is a beautiful series. I want this series to work primarily to see if anything beyond the thrillers we make,” said the director. However, he pointed out a far more serious reason why he wants Indubala to work among the viewers. “Unlike many other industries, in Bengal, there is still a dogma over OTT. An established actor or actress sees OTT as slightly lesser important than films. In reality, that makes no sense and if you see five people chatting about content they are more likely to talk about OTT than films. Now, in this scenario, an actress of Subhashree’s stature debuts on OTT. I want her more can make people take OTT a bit more seriously in Bengal. Outside Bengal, it is different. Many actors and actresses are working on OTT with complete command,” elaborated the director.
Debaloy is happy with the response that the trailer and song got. “It was beyond expectations. After this overwhelming response, I hope the expectations get fulfilled,” he said.
Indubala Bhaater Hotel captures different ages of Indubala. To portray elderly Indubala, Debaloy resorted to heavy prosthetic makeup on Subhashree. But was it not easier to opt for an elderly actress instead? Debaloy agreed that prosthetic is more challenging. “I don’t support resorting to prosthetic makeup all the time to make an actor or actress look like someone else. There could be another actress who would portray the elderly Indubala. But honestly, I could not see anyone in my mind. When I thought about the character, I could only see Subhashree playing the character. However, I believe, there should be more conversation regarding the usage of prosthetic makeup,” said the director.
Debaloy is also ‘extremely’ impressed with Subhashree. “If you ask me to talk about my experience, I can go on and on. I am very impressed with her. Subhashree is indeed a very impressive human being and actress. None of the team members, including me, felt that they are working with a star. Her humility is so on point that she never shows off her talent. She doesn’t throw weight while acting. Instead, she constantly tries to do better. Her honesty towards her craft pays off. It has worked in Parineeta and it has worked here,” he said.
Also read: Indubala Bhaater Hotel trailer review: Subhashree Ganguly captures the heartbreak of the Partition through a culinary journey
Debaloy is known for his thrillers. Is Indubala Bhaater Hotel a break from his specialty? “With Montu Pilot, Mukhosh, and others, I was constantly delving into the dark genre. Most of those are dark and depressing. I needed something that will be emotionally churning (because that is primarily important for me to work), and yet not depressing. Hence, Indubala is an obvious choice,” he said.
Debaloy will also debut in the Hindi world with his upcoming Amazon Prime show PI Meena. The series features Tanya Maniktala, Patrambrata Chatterjee, Jisshu U Sengupta, Vinay Pathak, Zareena Wahab, and others. “The postproduction is at its last leg and I am told that it will also release soon,” the director signed off.