The film - which also features Ditipriya Roy, Riddhi Sen, Ujan Chatterjee, Rajatava Dutta, Aparajita Adhya, Kaushik Sen, Bishwanath Basu and Jeet Sundar - will be released on November 24
After decades of working in the Bengali film and television industry, Kharaj Mukhopadhyay finally steps out from his character artiste avatar and takes the centre stage in Dhrubo Banerjee’s Bogla Mama Jug Jug Jiyo. The veteran actor has no regrets. “When Tulsi Chakraborty finally played the lead in Satyajit Ray’s Parash Pathar, he was older than me,” he said. The film which also features Ditipriya Roy, Riddhi Sen, Ujan Chatterjee, Rajatava Dutta, Aparajita Adhya, Kaushik Sen, Bishwanath Basu, Jeet Sundar, and others will be released on November 24.
Kharaj, meanwhile, has no time to respite before the release. He was busy with promotional activities. Is he tense? “Tension is there. However, all of us involved in the film were deeply committed. There were times when we shot sequences in extreme weather conditions. You will not understand that when you watch it on screen. This needs a high level of commitment. It is a good film and that is a relief. A little bit of anxiety before the release is there,” said the actor.
Kharaj said that he had complete faith in Dhrubo. “As they say, film is a director’s medium. There are scenes that I perceived differently than the director. Then he explained his side and I got a new perspective. I trusted him,” he said.
Talking about the offer, Kharaj said that it was during Durgeshgorer Guptodhon when Dhrubo told him about the film. He (Dhrubo) said casually that he wanted to do a film with me. I had no idea that it would be a titular role,” he said. The actor recalled the day he met the producer. “I went to their office and Srikant (Mohta, producer) was there. I was told about the role. I asked Srikant why he did not give me a lead role when I was younger. He promptly replied, “You wouldn’t fit into the character of a mama (uncle) then,” and everyone started laughing.
Does he regret that it took so long for him to play the lead in a film? “When I was very young, one day my guru Rabi Ghosh told me that an actor should never regret. He also said that a real actor never queues up in front of the producers or directors’ office. They work hard on stage. It is the filmmakers’ responsibility to find the real actors from theatre spaces. I follow his advice,” he said.
Kharaj is happy that many of the actors in the film are from a theatre background. “I am glad that so many of the youngsters have a theatre background. Moreover, there are Rony (Rajatava), Baban (Kaushik) and others. I am really proud that SVF took this chance to cast so many theatre actors,” he said adding, “My brief was to get well with the young actors. I have known Riddhi since he was born. Ujaan also became close later. On the set, gelling with the young actors was the easiest thing to do. We gelled well and had fun. Everyone helped each other to do better in their character,” Kharaj told us.