Kamalinee Mukherjee. Picture by Aranya Sen
You are ready to achieve your dream acting in a Bengali film. How excited are you?
I am super excited! The day t2 published the pictures of the Aparajita photo shoot, my mother woke me up shouting: Dekh dekh tor chhobi beriyechhe! So, I am very excited and also very confident. I think this is the right time to begin my journey in Bengali films. Bangla aamaar kachhe bhishon important. I wanted to start Bengali films with a really dumdaar film and this one is just that. Its got everything... it goes with my sensibility. Its not extreme this way or that way.
But Bengali cinema doesnt have that kind of glamour. Doesnt that bother you?
Even in the south, I have done both kinds of films. I have done glamorous commercial films and I have also done a lot of sensible, good cinema. So, for me, its easy to balance. Aparajita, in fact, has a mix of both for me. The character is pretty glamorous and at the same time its very real. The combination is quite lethal.
How do you look at your character of Ushashi?
I think she is a bit lost, definitely vulnerable. But she is also very strong. I can see her strength even in her vulnerability. What I like most about Ushashi is that she is her own person. She does not lie to herself. Thats something most people do. But there are no walls between what she does and what she thinks. She just follows her heart. She is not judgemental about what she does. She is very spontaneous and never questions her own actions.
You are a big fan of Prosenjit. Will it be intimidating working opposite him?
I hope not. We just have a fantastic team on this. All the actors (Aparajita also stars Padmapriya and Chandan Roy Sanyal) are so good. There are a few intimate scenes with Prosenjit in the film. I hope they go off well. I have done very few intimate scenes in my career. But he is such a senior actor.... I am sure he will put me at ease.
Tony (director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury) is really gung-ho about casting you. Have you two got along?
Tony makes me very proud of Bengali cinema even though I havent done any films yet! There was a stage when I was not feeling very good about the kind of films that were being churned out in Bengal. But I think in the last few years, things have changed. People are not going in to watch Bengali films thinking ki jaa-ta chhobi hobe or it would be chhapo-ing off a south Indian film.
Its so nice to see that we are making authentic Bangla chhobi with its own flavour. I am a big Bong film fan. I am a huge Uttam-Suchitra fan and have seen all their films with my father. So, when I used to come home from the south and put on the TV and watch a Bengali film promo, I was like, god, this is the exact same thing we are doing in Telugu. Bong films dont need this. We had progressed far ahead and then taken steps back. But with people like Tony, ekta dignity phire ashchhe in Bangla cinema.
You have already worked with Padmapriya in Kutty Srank. So even the usual two-heroine fight looks unlikely...
Very unlikely! I dont think secure actors ever get down to fighting. Our characters are so very different, theres no scope of fighting over something. The catfight thing happens when all the actresses are doing the same thing and they are all supposed to just look good. No worries on that front here.
Pratim D. Gupta
Do you agree with Kamalinees views on Bangla cinema? Tellt2@abpmail.com