Prosenjit and Arpita with a child artiste in the ad
Five years ago, Prosenjit was the US-based Pradip, grappling with his feelings of emptiness in Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s Aparajita Tumi. His first scene in the film had him sitting at the dinner table, with ‘reel’ wife Kuhu (Padmapriya). It was a scene fraught with tension and awkwardness. Last Tuesday, Prosenjit was back at the dining table, this time playing a doting husband to ‘real’ wife Arpita, with Aniruddha calling ‘action’ yet again.
(L-R) Cinematographer Avik Mukhopadhyay, Prosenjit and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury discuss a scene.
For the Aparajita Tumi director and its leading man, their second project together is an ad for Emami Healthy & Tasty Soyabean Oil. On Day One, the husband-wife duo breezed through a couple of scenes that summed up how the family bonds over food — from having breakfast together to enjoying a family dinner. The first scene canned on January 3 saw Prosenjit in the kitchen, making puris for breakfast.
A family affair
On Day Two morning, Prosenjit was on his own, acting out scenes where he was prepping for a role. “We need a candid feel for this,” cinematographer Avik Mukhopadhyay told Aniruddha. After a few minutes, the director looked at the monitor and said: “Is there a coffee mug?” A mug appeared in a jiffy. Satisfied with the shape of the mug and the colour, he told Prosenjit: “Now you take a sip.” A crew member suggested Prosenjit put on his reading glasses. “No, I need the tension in his eyes,” said Aniruddha.
“It’s great to start the New Year working with friends. And it feels like we are shooting for a film! I’m playing myself in the ad. It’s the journey of a hero.… In between the action and dance scenes, premieres and rehearsals, there is the food and staying fit,” Prosenjit told t2.
“He is a director’s delight, very disciplined,” Aniruddha said about Prosenjit. And how was it directing the husband-wife duo? “It was a family affair,” signed off the maker of Pink.
The storyboard of Prosenjit happened through several creative brainstorming sessions between our creative agency Scarecrow and Tonyda (Aniruddha) who happens to be one of the most talented filmmakers in India today. Edible oil plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In this new TVC campaign for Emami Healthy & Tasty Soyabean Oil, we have tried to capture a storyline showing the reel and real life journey of Prosenjit the actor, and the idea of family bonding. Despite his hectic daily schedule and work-related stress, Prosenjit, as one of the busiest actors of Bengali cinema, has incredible stamina, energy and passion even at the end of the day. The secret behind this is the healthy cooking medium of Emami Healthy & Tasty edible oil,” said Aditya V. Agarwal, director, Emami Group.
On the sets at Purple Movie Town, Prosenjit goes through the process of getting into his character. A restless Prosenjit paces the room that is done up with life-size mirrors. Pictures of the Tolly star hang on the wall. He sits down on a recliner, takes a look at something on his laptop, points a finger at it and mutters under his breath. Dissatisfied, he slaps down the laptop, gets up once again and starts pacing, and then lets out a sharp, muffled cry that pierces the silence. “You want to hit me?” he says, walking up to a mirror. As his frame fills the mirror, he cries out again, this time in Hindi. The shot is repeated, and this time as he paces the room, he throws down a sheaf of papers to underline an actor’s sense of exasperation while prepping. “Cut,” says Aniruddha. Prosenjit checks the scene on the monitor, turns to Aniruddha and Avik and smiles: “We can do a film in 12 days!”
Day 2 pictures: Pabitra Das