Tollywood character actor Arindam Sil is set to try his hand in directing films. IBNS correspondent Barshali Banerjee caught up with the popular face of Bengali cinema and small screen recently and unplugged details about his upcoming directorial project 'Aborto'.
Q: Till now people have watched actor Arindam Sil in films and small screen. Now all of a sudden you are about to deliver your first directorial debut with 'Aborto'. How did it happen to you?
A: See, it has been a long time that I entered this industry. Almost for two decades I was growing within as an actor, essaying serious roles. It is not surprising for me that I will be turned into a director one day. Even now also I watch films daily and I am completely passionate about cinema. So I was preparing myself for it and suddenly through the making of 'Aborto' (The Orbit). I am going one step forward to cherish another of my dreams. It is my tribute to Satyajit Ray.
Q: How did you get the story of Aborto?
A: The most surprising fact is that I wrote the story of Aborto in just twenty minutes which is centered on some people and their relationships in different places but perhaps entrapped in similar situations. When I wrote the story, primarily it was intended to be scripted for one of my telefilms. But some of my friends suggested me to make a film. Abrto has been shot in the 6th draft, because I improvised the story over and over. There is a big role of the North Calcutta house and corporate culture in this film as I am originally from North Calcutta and in addition to that being a management person I lived the life of a corporate creature for prolonged 7-8 years. So it was very easy for me to visualize the story along with the characters.
Q: Did you also write the scripts of Aborto?
A: No I did not solely write the whole thing. It was the brainchild of Padmanabha Dasgupta and Atanu Ghosh. After a span of 6 to 7 months of brainstorming session finally I could make the final script by the inclusion of improvisation and minor changes. But the central idea of the story is all over the same.
Q: Can you put some lights on the story and the characters of Aborto?
A: Of course. One thing I want to share with the readers that as for the first time I put on the director´s hat, I have dedicated my first move as a director to none other than Satyajit Ray. So I brought some of his film´s characters to mine. It is not a mere imitation but only use and resemblance of the same names. Character names from Ray's films like Charu, Shyamal Sen, Duli, Hari are somehow revived in my film but all over in a new package. At some point the characters from Ray's films and mine come in a face to face position and realize what they have lost out behind the rat race of life. Moreover, Aborto is a film about tradition, corporate culture and realization, how relationships chocked amidst convention and commercial business.
Q: What about the star casts of the film?
A: This film is all about very good actors instead of heroes or stars. The cast of the film will comprise some very important actors of Bengali movies who have their immense contribution in the language of contemporary cinema. Barun Chanda, Saswata Chatterjee, Tota Roy Chowdhury, Piyush Ganguly, Abir Chatterjee, Kaushik Ganguly, Swastika Mukherjee, Reshmi Ghosh and most importantly Jaya Ahsan are some of the glimpses of the movie.
Q: Earlier known as a perfectionist actor and now being the director for the first time, how did you like the performances of them?
A: It was mind blowing. How can I judge the acting talent of stalwart like Barun Chanda? He worked with Satyajit Ray and played the character of Shyamal Sen in 'Seemabaddha'. But apart from that the acting of Tota and especially Jaya Ahsan who is a renowned Bangladeshi film actor has made me speechless. Abir has also given magnetic performance in his own way.
Q: Could you elaborate on the characters of Tota and Jaya in this film?
A: As I said both were superb while projecting the cliche' of Shyamal Sen and his wife Charu. Tota will be seen playing a character in a similar sketch of Shyamal from Seemabaddha who belongs to a middle class family from North Calcutta and dreams of climbing high. He is a man of principle, maintains discipline in life but somehow becomes fiercely ambitious. To go beyond his ambition he places his marriage is at stake. Getting completely entrapped in the corporate culture he sacrifices his own relations with his closest person and Duli (a character from Aranyer Din Ratri) here played by Reshmi Ghosh is a sex interest tantalizing him. The closeness creates distance between him and his wife. Being trapped in his vortex he realizes his flaws and tries to rectify himself. On the other hand Charu here played by Jaya Ahsan is once again a connotation of loneliness from Ray's Charulata' who finds herself companion less. Shyamal neglects her and Charu has brilliantly expressed her solitude here. She is once again a sex deprived married woman in the film and justified the character of modern version of Charu here.
Q: How was Abir in this film?
A: Abir Chatterjee would be seen as a young cricketer Hari. He has established a mischievous image of himself in the eyes of the girls. Other than playing cricket he keeps himself busy with the girls and almost every day a new woman comes into his life.
Abir's role is a reflection of the character of Shamit Bhanja from 'Aranyer Din Ratri'. I want to add something on this, that there is a cameo in Aborto which is done by Swastika Mukherjee. She plays an item girl here and it is a tribute to cabaret queen Miss Shefali. I can challenge that she will set fire on the floor while dancing with the item number.
Q: Coming to the music of this film, how differently have you used the music here?
A: Music is just brilliant in one word. My friend Bickram Ghosh has composed the music. Music is a mixture of classical with the touch of modernity. The songs are basically classical based with contemporary adaptations. One thing I must say Bickram was brilliant here and regarding the choices of background score like a sound of heart-beat, uses of Tanpura, and classical raga Behag how brilliantly our wavelength has matched up in this movie I cannot explain.
Q: So in the future, are we going to witness musician Arindam Sil after the transformation from actor, producer and director?
A: No, not at all. I am ok with my current status (smiles). But in regard to music I want to say one thing, I have become a huge fan of Bickram and in my next project also Bickram will be there as the music director.