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Love or lust?

Parno and Parambrata in Ekla Akash

Ekla Akash isn’t a feel-good film but there’s a silver lining at the end, says Sandipan Roy, whose directorial debut starring Goutam Ghose, Parno Mittra, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Debleena Dutt and Rudranil Ghosh releases on October 5. A t2 chat...

What was your inspiration for a relationship tale like Ekla Akash?

The relationship problems I have explored in this film are ones I’ve seen among my friends and relatives. The idea came after a very close friend of mine went through a rough patch in his marriage. I felt I could bring in that aspect... the ego fights between husband and wife, the small responsibilities that they avoid which snowball into bigger issues. All this is there in Ekla Akash.

Tell us about who’s at loggerheads with whom...

Param and Parno play Arijit and Nisha, an upper middle-class couple with a lovely daughter. The other two relationships are about Arijit and his colleague Tanuka (Debleena), and Nisha’s growing fondness for her professor-turned-filmmaker SR (Ghose). I can’t reveal the end, all I can say is that though Ekla Akash isn’t a feel-good film, there’s a ray of hope in the end. Rudra (Rudranil) plays an important role; he’s a producer who is backing SR’s film.

What’s new about the marital discord and extramarital relationship angle in Ekla Akash?

There’s a hint of an extramarital affair in the Param-Debleena relationship. But Goutamda and Parno have a very different relationship. I consciously made it different, keeping in mind that Ekla Akash should not be yet another film on extramarital relationships. Without going into details, I will say that it’s a little about a student-professor relationship where there’s a huge age gap. It’s a little more than friendship but it’s not love either. There’s a bit of infatuation but it’s not sexual. Even Param and Debleena’s isn’t the typical out-of-marriage relationship. You will know what I mean when you see the film.

Did casting Goutam Ghose help in getting directorial guidance, considering it’s your first film?

It was definitely a big help to have Goutamda on board since I am a newcomer and I have no background in filmmaking, except that I had assisted in a few telefilms a long time back. Now I work as a producer in ABP Ananda. When I thought of casting Goutamda as SR, I was very sure that he wouldn’t accept the offer and I was hell-bent on having him play the role! But when Goutamda heard the subject of the film, he could relate to his character and so it was very easy for me to work with him. And, of course, his suggestions were valuable. At times he would tell me to change a few lines in a dialogue which would only enhance the film. That having a director on board for my debut film would be helpful is something I realised only while shooting. It wasn’t my intention, really. I was in fact worried that his presence might overshadow me! Of course, being under his shadow helped me a lot. Since he was around, I used to be very relaxed on the sets.

What kind of films inspires you?

All kinds of films. I love watching films that have a simple storyline. My favourite is Chhaddobeshi (1971). Ekla Akash too has a very simple storyline. And like everyone else, I am a huge Satyajit Ray fan. I also like Ritwik Ghatak’s films a lot.

What’s next?

I have a script ready. It’s about a college student who is going through a psychological problem. I would also like to make a fun film someday.


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