The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rahul and Mithun in Kaalpurush

Sumanto is easily my best role ever...

I have played the character in silence. I liked the quality of the writing, the character development and the sensitivity of the script. It’s a very different role; Sumanto’s outlook towards life, what success means to him appealed to me immensely.

I play someone who is a complete failure in life...

Sumanto is a junior officer in a shipping company. In his mid-30s, he is not rich, doesn’t have friends and is very shy. His wife is disgusted with his lack of success. But in a strange way Sumanto is happy with the little pleasures of life. There’s a scene where Sumanto sees a couple kissing each other. Instead of turning his face away, he stands and stares and when they look uncomfortable he asks them to continue.... He yearns for his dad, who passed away even before the father-son relationship could develop.

Mithunda has no ego...

He has the energy and enthusiasm of a newcomer. He knows his craft too well. And he is very warm and emotional. We had a good time on the sets. I used to converse with him in Bengali while he insisted on speaking in English; perhaps he thought my Bengali was bad. Even Buddhada thought so, but I insisted that I would dub for my role and I dubbed for seven days, for eight hours, at a stretch and it killed me. But now I am very proud that I did it.

Sameera’s Bengali sounded like gibberish...

She used to break words like tu-mi ke-mon ach-chho. So on those moments I used to turn deaf. But she used to deliver with a lot of emotions. And since she couldn’t speak the language, sometimes it used to leave me completely confused. I used to shut my ears then but later of course we used to laugh about it (laughs). But I must say that her expressions were right; she is a very competent actress.

Frankly, I wasn’t bothered with Kaalpurush not releasing...

As an actor I enjoy the journey. Then I move on to my other films. Once I am through with a film I detach myself from it. But I would be lying if I said that it made no difference. I am overjoyed that Kaalpurush is finally releasing.


I am there in Kaalpurush but also not there...

The film is about a father-son relationship. I play Rahul’s father Ashwini, who is there but also absent at the same time. But it isn’t a ghost story (laughs). It was a very difficult role to portray. My character is between being and not being. I am happy that Buddhada offered me the role.

I am hungry for such roles...

I satiate my thirst for acting when I do such films. But I do my Fatakesto roles with equal dedication. I am an actor and that gives me the responsibility to balance both commercial and parallel cinema. I balance every Fatakesto that I do with a Kaalpurush or Ekti Nadir Galpo or Lal Paharir Katha Shono.

As an actor, I see my role through the director’s eyes...

I do whatever the director asks me to because I believe that a film is a director’s child. He conceives the idea, gets the script arranged and does everything. I just go and perform whichever way he wants me to perform. When Buddhada offered me Kaalpurush he just told me that there were certain things which remain untold and I got the clue for my role. I think Buddhada has grown as a director just as I have grown as an actor. He is a man of few words, yet we bond very well.

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