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regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

Actress turned director Chaiti Ghoshal to direct Nevermind starring Rituparna and Amartya Ray

A t2 chat with Rituparna, Chaiti and Amartya

Arindam Chatterjee Published 13.01.24, 09:59 AM
Chaiti, Amartya and Rituparna 

Chaiti, Amartya and Rituparna 

The city’s musical corridor, Park Street, has seen it all — from veterans crooning jazz in suits and off-shoulder outfits, youngsters belting out songs by The Beatles and Pink Floyd to friends bonding over drinks. Now, all eyes will be on a Park Street bar that is at the heart of a story in a new film which will be directed by actress Chaiti Ghoshal. The film, Nevermind, stars Rituparna Sengupta and Amartya Ray (Chaiti’s son). The film is produced by MS Productions and presented by Rituparna Sengupta. A t2 chat with Rituparna, Chaiti and Amartya....

What was the starting point for this film?

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Rituparna: It started with a phone call and then Chaitidi and I met, and I heard the story (by Samrat and Mitali Ghoshal Rudra) for the first time. I loved the outline of the story and later they fleshed it out. I was not expecting this kind of story. It was so different. Of course, I was really excited that I would be working with Chaitidi and Amartya.

Initially, I was a bit surprised when I got to know that Chaitidi was directing the film. It is her first time. But Chaitidi said that she had to do this. In fact, she left acting opportunities in national shows so that she could focus on direction. She took that decision. And when you are directing, you have to immerse yourself in it. She has done that. She told me that I was her face for the film and that we were going ahead with it.

Tell us about the storyline.

Chaiti: It is about a woman’s search for something from her past that brings her to a Park Street bar where she meets a charismatic young bar singer with whom she forms a strange connection.

Do you remember the first time both of you met?

Rituparna: We have known each other for more than 25 years. Chaitidi is like family to me. You’ll see her in all my family functions. I admire her work. I remember watching Raktakarobi twice. We have acted in a few films. I always feel very close to Chaitidi. We have things in common. She is affectionate towards me. I feel she is like my elder sister. Chaitidi has been working on Nevermind relentlessly... for a very long time. So one day I told her: “Never mind Chaitidi, we will do it!” The title of the film also intrigued me. This film is a unique production.

I am also looking forward to being a part of subjects that are out-of-the-box, and thought-provoking... where the exploration will happen from the inner side and not only the external part. I want to be very raw and fresh to explore my characters. The idea of the film is so beautiful... people from different walks of life coming together at a bar. There is soul-searching. The character I play in the film has a very interesting journey... external and internal. Trina will stand out in a very different way in this film. We have Rupam on board as singer and composer and Gopi Bhagat as the DoP.
Chaiti: We have always shared a strange connection. Ritu has seen so much of life; she is so successful. But there is something like a clay idol inside her, which an artiste can create every time. She can easily play a person full of innocence. The sweet, naive girl comes out then. She has this vast range of expressions on her face. Even if she stays quiet, her eyes speak volumes.

Chaiti, why did you decide to direct?

Chaiti: I loved the story. It resonated with me and I wanted to tell the story. As we were working on the story, I thought of Ritu. I could only think of her as the lead protagonist. I called her up and told her that there was a story. She was in Singapore then. I was going through a difficult phase at home... I felt it was ‘the time’ that was telling me to direct the film.

Creation has this magical quality to it and once it inspires you, only then can you take such a decision. It is a big decision for me to direct this film. And I did not know that I had this passion inside me like a dormant volcano. I always feel that one has to collaborate on a piece of work... if you can inspire a community as a director, then the sky is the limit.
Amartya: The characters we find at a bar are so interesting. I got hooked from the first narration itself. The storyline is amazing.

Amartya, with your mother directing, does it fall into your comfort zone or does it add more pressure?

Amartya: My mother has always been very supportive. She believes in me; in my work. She has inspired me all her life. My mother is a very talented artiste. We have discussed a lot about the characters, the storyline and its treatment. When she tells me something about work, I trust her completely. My mother recognises the emotional value of a scene. And that actually drives the audience into tears. She understands that very well. In this new year, it gives me great joy to think that I’ll be sharing the screen with someone who is Bengali cinema’s muse (Rituparna)... whom I consider to be a very powerful actress. She is also a very kind person.
Chaiti: Amartya is a very sensitive person, which is why he can draw out the finer nuances in his acting. He works on a character for a long time, and gives the role a lot of thought. He takes a different lane as an actor. He is quite a surprise element for me.

What do you think you will bring to the table as a woman filmmaker? You’ll be seeing the story through a specific lens.

Chaiti: The eyes of women see society from a different place. She has a different take on the characters, friendship, love... how she views society. We still live in a society where we get to see misogynistic incidents all around. A bar forms the backdrop of my film. I don’t know how people will react... whether they will be judgemental about it. But still, I took a chance.

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