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Competing with self

You’ve got to hand it to this fellow who never looks hassled. Or, maybe he’s as smooth an actor as he is a director. Anindya Sarkar has all his plans chalked out and pieces and pawns set out. Hopping from one telefilm to another, and another, and then one more, with no loose links along the way, one wonders how he manages to work Clockwork Orange in a maddening Tollywood system where there seems no method in the short-sighted madness.

This time, the madness has given Anindya a happy turn, much like Priyadarshan getting releases of two films on the same Friday recently and David Dhawan before that! This Sunday will have couch alur- doms grabbing sofa seats in their homes, but will have them also zapping between Aakaash and Zee to and fro! Aakaash’s Nagno Nirjan Haat will be competing with Zee’s Na Dekha Chhobi, and the winner either way will be Anindya Sarkar!

Nagno Nirjan Haat picks up its title from Jibanananda Das’ poem and has new face Aishwarya Basu playing a doctor who comes across a stubborn and violent young patient (played by Bhaswar Chatterjee). A rather bleak story (Subroto Chowdhury), but intriguing in its psychological twists, it also has a smattering of poetry (Jibananada Das, Joy Goswami). A little off the beaten track goes Anindya this time.

Not too off the track is how he ‘discovered’ the elegant Aishwarya Basu (no, it’s not just the name). She is a regular reciter in All India Radio and on the stage, and has done some anchoring on the small screen as well. They met at a party, and both were mutually impressed to make it happen. “This is the first time I’ve done an acting role,” says Aishwarya, whose name resembles The Rai but face resembles Shefali Shah’s, “and the main thing that struck me was that anchoring or reciting also require acting ' but without body movements.” As for emoting, coming Sunday will tell.

Bhaswar, as the rich spoilt brat having suicidal tendencies, was enacting an outrageously arrogant drunken scene in a lawn family meeting which hardly fit his genteel looks. But that’s why he’s doing so well as an actor!

Then, we hopped to a boutique hotel near the Bypass where Anindya was taking quick shots with a bubblegum-blowing Mallika Majumdar and a smartly turned out Shiladitya Patranobis, wearing dark glasses. “That’s why I’m not going to return the suit!” he ribbed the director, and explained that he was all the time wearing dark glasses because he plays a blind character, but his body language doesn’t easily give away the fact.

Again with a story and screenplay by Subroto Chowdhury, Na Dekha Chhobi pivots on Shiladitya’s character, who lost his eyesight at the age of 10, but the bright young urbane fellow never let an inferiority complex get the better of him. However, he is unable to profess love to his childhood friend, played by the tomboyish Mallika, who is never the wiser about his emotion or his eyesight.

But the young man from Bangalore (Arghya Mitra) who comes into their lives, and is goading Mallika to enter a Miss Calcutta contest, triangulates the relationship, and dilemma-swings between Shiladitya’s ego and complex.

Scheduled telecasts:
both on April 30;
Aakaash Bangla (7:05pm)
and Zee Bangla (7:30pm)

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