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It Takes Three To Talk It Up

As the two ladies — Payel and Mimi Chakraborty — dressed in pink sat demurely on the sofa, Raj Chakraborty plonked himself in the middle! “Be grateful we allowed you to sit between us,” said Mimi and Payel. “Shut up, I’ve allowed you both to sit beside me!” laughed Raj. For an hour the mock fight continued in between chatter about their December 28 release Bojhena Shey Bojhena (produced by Shree Venkatesh Films).

Raj, you’ve got your Prem Amar lead pair Payel and Soham in Bojhena Shey Bojhena...

Raj: Yes, but here the casting is different. Soham is paired opposite Mimi and Payel is opposite Abir Chatterjee. Abir plays an urbane IT professional and Payel plays a girl from the suburbs; the two meet on the streets of Calcutta. Soham works in a factory in Malda and Mimi is the daanpite (tomboy) type. It’s a road film shot entirely in Calcutta and Malda; there’s an accident...

Payel: (Interrupts) Raj move a bit, make space for the lady! Mimi: (Laughs)

Raj: (Smiles) This is going on since morning (their mock fight). I am just a poor guy!

Payel: What poor guy!? You weigh 80kg!

Mimi: 95kg!

Did Mimi and Payel pull your leg while shooting too?

Payel: Absolutely!

Raj: Whenever they get a leg, they start pulling!

Payel: You enjoy our leg-pulling!

Mimi: Exactly!

(Top) Payel and Abir Chatterjee in Bojhena Shey Bojhena; (above) Mimi

Raj: Look at them, I’m the director but they have no respect for me! The two are mad. I curse myself for casting them in my film!

Raj, what other problems did you face while shooting?

Raj: We shot in real locations. We would shoot early in the morning in Calcutta in places like Esplanade and Sealdah and again in the afternoon. We would avoid office-time. We faced huge crowds both in Calcutta and Malda. There was a sea of people in Malda because Bengali films have a big market there. But we managed. There were various shots where the characters had to cross the roads in Esplanade despite busy traffic and so it was also risky. Plus, shooting the scenes inside a bus was difficult. We would put a trolley inside the bus to mount our camera and then my actresses fell asleep while shooting!

Mimi: Don’t, please! Arrey I had a call time of 9am and he would take my first shot at noon, won’t I fall asleep?

Payel: He would wake me up at 2am!

Raj: Yeah, I like waking up ladies from their slumber!

Payel, you are working with Raj three years after Prem Amar. How much has he evolved as a director?

Payel: Well, he is a grown-up director now! (Laughs) He has become very fast in shot-taking, explaining… he has become a perfectionist and because he has grown as a director he could handle a subject like Bojhena Shey Bojhena so effortlessly.

Mimi, have you seen his films before?

Mimi: No! What has he done? (Laughs) Jokes apart, I saw Chirodini…Tumi Je Aamar. I didn’t know who Raj Chakraborty was at that time. And I loved the film so much that I told my friends that ‘yaar if I can do one movie with this guy my life is set’! Working with him is fun because he is very talented and for a newcomer, Raj Chakraborty is a big thing.... Look how he is attentively listening to the praises I’m showering on him (laughs and hits him hard)… Payel: We constantly rag him.

Raj, how much has Payel grown as an actress?

Raj: Payel is a very sensible and fine actress. Nobody has been able to give her challenging roles yet. So as her friend I always try to give her challenging characters.... Mimi is very good too. I loved her in Gaaner Opaare. In fact nobody knows that Mimi had auditioned for Shatru (Raj’s last film starring Jeet). But she was contract-bound for Gaaner Opaare. I had told her that once her agreement was over I would cast her.... She is very tomboyish.

Mimi: Don’t say that, no guy will fall in love with me!

Raj: Men love tomboys!

Kushali Nag

Is Raj the best masala movie maker in Tollywood? Tell t2@abp.in


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