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‘This is my story too’

The friction between an overzealous mother and her rebellious son is the theme of director duo Shiboprasad Mukhopadhyay and Nandita Roy’s debut film Ichche, which releases on July 15 after a three-year wait. A t2 chat with Shiboprasad

What is Ichche all about?

It’s a mother-son story... a story that all mothers and sons can relate to. You can say Ichche is also my story in bits and pieces. All mothers are possessive about their sons and somehow they cannot share them with another woman. I may be wrong but more often than not this is the case. Ichche revolves around Mamata (Sohini Sengupta), who is Samik’s (Samadarshi) mother. She has always been very possessive about him, taking care of all his needs herself. She doesn’t change even when the son grows up. From teaming his shirts and trousers to looking for love letters in his books, she hardly gives the teenager any breathing space. So the son revolts and a love-hate relationship develops between them. I haven’t portrayed the mother as a villain, though a few scenes would show her in a very negative light. But the audience will be in a dilemma over whether to side with the mother or the son.

What prompted you to choose a subject like this for your debut film as a director?

The film is inspired from Suchitra Bhattacharya’s short story, Ichcher Gachh. I was bowled over when I read the story and I instantly felt, arrey this is my story too! I almost immediately wrote the screenplay and took it to Suchitradi. She gave the nod and then I started looking for the cast. Sohinidi (Sengupta) came to my mind first when I thought of the mother. She is a brilliant actor and I knew she would strike a perfect balance between the grey and the dark. Ichche is Samadarshi’s debut film... I mean this was the first film he shot for. The rest of the cast Bidita Bag, Ruplekha and Bratya Basu fell in place.

Rituparna Sengupta is presenting the film. What does that mean?

Such a trend is very common in Hollywood and Bollywood. I had discussed the subject with Rituparna many times before I started shooting the film. Though I never offered her a role, Rituparna being Rituparna, she took a keen interest in the film and made sure it got made. That’s very rare of an actor who’s not even a part of the film! Ritu believed in the subject and even found producers (Vignesh Films and Encash Entertainment) for Ichche. I am grateful to her and so thought of associating her with the film. She is presenting Ichche.

What do Bidita and Ruplekha play?

They play the women in Samik’s life. In school, Samik falls in love with Ruplekha’s character but his mother steps in and the affair comes to an end. He meets Bidita’s character in college and after that it’s a cat-and-mouse game between him and his mother, as he is constantly trying to hide his girl from his mother. Bratyada plays Samik’s father.

Why did it take three years for Ichche to release?

There were some problems regarding the rights of the film. But all that is in the past. I think this is the right time for Ichche to release because the audience now is tolerant of different types of films. I don’t think a three-year delay would make Ichche look dated. Even a film like Black Friday was stuck for years, what difference did it make?

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