The young Bangladeshi actor talks about his involvement in Mayar Jonjal and how OTT has made him a known name in Bengal
Shohel Mondol got his popularity in West Bengal after working in web series like Taqdeer with Chanchal Chowdhury. Later, he was also seen in the Bangladeshi film Hawa. However, years before that, Shohel’s debut to the work in West Bengal started with Indranil Roychowdhury’s Mayar Jonjal in 2020. Shohel plays the character of a syndicate member Satya in the film which also features Ritwick Chakraborty, Chandreyee Ghosh, Aupee Karim, Bratya Basu, and others. In a chat with OTTplay, the young Bangladeshi actor talked about his experience of working with Indranil, Ritwick, and others.
Shohel explained that he was introduced to Indranil through Mejbaur Rahman Sumon –the director of Hawa. “While the audience in West Bengal watched me on Taqdeer (Hoichoi) before anything else, Mayar Jonjal is my first work for pan Bengal. The selection of Mayar Jonjal was an episode in itself. I worked on a project called Shyaola and I was taking a break. Kobida (Indranil Rowchowdhury) came to Dhaka during that time. He was looking for actors and actresses in this film. Bangladeshi filmmaker Mejbaur Rahman Sumon – the director of Hawa – suggested my name,” he explained.
Shohel liked Indranil instantly. And despite giving his nod to the project, the actor had to wait for a few months before he got a confirmation from the director’s team. “Kobida and I met. He briefed me on the idea and said he was looking for an actor to play Satya. I liked the character and everything but what I liked more was the chat session with Kobida. The way he elaborates and talks, and the way he explains his takes on different things fascinated me. Anyway, it took another four to five months for me to finally know that I would be working with him. I was convinced on day one but I was not sure if they wanted me finally. Kobida exuberates a special kind of love and for me, a human being is more important than the story of a film,” he explained.
Indranil, who is known to be a well-prepared director, helped Shohel get into the character. He determined the accent and tone of Satya and Shohel followed. “We have done rehearsals. I read the script thoroughly and the process started In Bangladesh. I come from a theatre background. And that helped me to have an organic touch with the character. I am not one of the finest creative actors. I have to work hard to get a grip on my character and I worked on Satya. Kobida decided on the diction of Satya. He has a mixed dialect. Kobida used to send me voice records of his dialect. I heard them diligently. Kobida also fixed a rhythm for each shot so that the pace goes up and down systematically. That design helped,” the actor elaborated.
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Evidently, Mayar Jonjal is a multistarrer film with senior actors and actresses featured in the film. Shohel features opposite Chandreyee, who plays Beauty. Satya and Beauty have an intimate but complicated relationship. “When I started working with Chandreyee, I was unaware of her celebrity status. We had one week of rehearsal and it took no time to break the ice. Since I was ignorant of her status, I was not scared. She is very cooperative. I could do the scenes with her freely because of Kobida and her cooperation. We became friends,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Shohel admitted that watching Ritwick was a learning experience for him. “With Ritwickda, I hardly shared screen. However, I watched him acting and that was an experience. I realised how tremendous an actor he is when I was watching him during shooting. I watched him and learned,” elaborated. Meanwhile, he became very friendly with Amit Saha. “He is senior to me but that didn’t matter. I was very happy to hang out with him,” he said.
When Shohel first started working on Taqdeer, OTT was emerging in Bangladesh. “It was a new thing for us. It was flourishing. After its release, I realised people liked the show. Earlier, Chanchal Chowdhury, Mosharaf Karim, and Afran Nisho were known names to the audience in West Bengal. After Taqdeer, people were also uttering my name and that was exciting. I hope this might help Mayar Jonjal a bit (laughs),” he said, adding, “I feel people will like Mayar Jonjal. Some people wait for Kobida’s work. Mayar Jonjal will not let them down. It will be a good experience.”