Paroma Neotia’s first feature film Mitthye Premer Gaan is a musical love story. Starring Anirban Bhattacharya, Arjun Chakrabarty and Ishaa Saha, the film is set to release in the theatres on February 10. In the film, Anirban plays Avik, an independent musician and songwriter, while Arjun plays Aditya, a classical singer. Ishaa plays Anwesha, a journalist. The film follows a reclusive, introverted singer-songwriter who embarks on a journey of self-discovery after he falls in love with an ambitious, pragmatic girl. They are forced to navigate their insecurities, fears, dreams and reality while battling their own loneliness and existential crisis. The Telegraph chat with Anirban and Ishaa...
The trailer and the songs of the film have become really popular. There’s a buzz around the film...
Anirban: : I get to hear all about it from my friends and colleagues. The response is really good. I am not on social media. I left Twitter almost a year ago. The curiosity around the film has increased gradually
Ishaa: I am very happy with the response. It is very positive.
Anirban, you play a musician in the film. What was your frame of reference?
Anirban: The character was very new to me. The film’s treatment and setting were very new to me. I deep-dived into my memories of watching such musicians perform on stage. But I didn’t keep any particular musician in mind.
Ishaa: Same goes for me. I have been presented in a very new way in the film.
Anirban: There’s something about Ishaa’s character in Mitthye Premer Gaan. She looks beautiful in the film. Something like divine beauty. The approach to filmmaking and the cinematography have shaped the look of her character really well.
From Kichchu chaini aami to Bibagi phone, Anirban’s songs have also become immensely popular. What is it about Anirban’s singing that appeals to you?
Ishaa: The emotion and the simplicity... that really strikes a chord. The songs move you.
Do you have anything to say to director Anirban?
Ishaa: I have recommended his film (Ballabhpurer Roopkotha) to many people. I don’t know when he’ll cast me in his film! See, now he is smiling.
Anirban: I rate Ishaa very highly as an actress. There is truth in her performance. We had many scenes together in this film, and I really enjoyed the exchange we shared as actors. Meanwhile, I have not planned anything yet as a director. And when it comes to casting, the story and the characters indicate the choice of actors.
Why is this film special for you?
Anirban: Paroma’s film is like a new kind of flower in this bouquet of new Bengali films happening all around us. The songs have great visuals and the cinematography by Soumik Halder is fantastic. It has connected with a new-age sound. The story has been told in a very charming, entertaining way.
Ishaa: My character is so vibrant. And it has been presented in a new way. I can’t reveal much right now. I was shooting for Mitthye Premer Gaan and Kaacher Manush simultaneously. And now I am really happy that I said yes to this film. It didn’t feel like we were acting.
Anirban: It was very soulful.
Ishaa: The film has a very young vibe to it.
A moment from Mitthye Premer Gaan
How was it like working with Paroma?
Ishaa: Paroma was very clear and precise in her direction. And the film has the Yash Chopra vibe to it. It didn’t feel like she was directing her first feature film. Anirban: She is like a breath of fresh air. She has immense promise and potential. She is very involved in her film-making. She is passionate; knows her job really well. She has brilliantly directed scenes in a crowd. She is very clear. I spoke to Paroma extensively about the script before the shoot. Then we would share life stories, and experiences. Then she would also talk about how she was planning to shoot a scene.
Ishaa: She is very cool-headed.
Anirban: She is very precise and smart in her direction.
What was your reaction when she told you about your character as a musician?
Anirban: There’s a certain aura about my character, and initially I wasn’t too sure about it. I had no training in it. The way he would look, stand, turn his head... the other shade to this character. But then I felt that I should do it. Then I started talking to her.... once I finished dubbing, I realised why she had decided to cast me in the film. I was very convinced.