Monday, 30th October 2017

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Bedroom games

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 4.01.12
  •  
Pictures by Rashbehari Das. Make-up: Aniruddha Chakladar. Hair: Noor Alam. Styling: Neha Panda. Wardrobe courtesy: Pantaloons

Ushasie as Ipshita

Your role: Ipshita is a journalist who wants to write on serious stories but her boss wants her to interview an actor, Dev (played by Rudranil).

Is Ushasie like Ipshita? No! Ipshita is commitment-phobic and doesn’t mind getting into a physical relationship to get her work done. I am not at all like her, except that I was a journalist too.

If you were to swap partners in Bedroom, who would you choose?

No one! Not only because I like Rudra as my partner in the film but also because I am very comfortable with him. Off screen, too, we are great friends and since there’s a lot of intimacy between Dev and Ipshita, I was lucky that Mainak chose Rudra for me.

The other Bedroom woman you would’ve loved to play: Ipshita is my favourite character. She is layered, and not nyaka or pretentious.

Paoli Dam as Priyanka

Your role: Priyanka comes from an upper middle-class family. She opts for an arranged marriage with Anando (Abir) and quits her job to be happy in marriage. And in order to provide her every comfort, Anando focuses more on his career than his wife.

Is Paoli like Priyanka?

No. I am not married, neither am I lonely! But I have seen people like Priyanka... for instance, my mom, who has been a housewife all her life.

If you were to swap partners in Bedroom, who would you choose?

I think Abir and I are perfect in the film. Height-wise, too, we match!

The other Bedroom woman you would’ve loved to play:

Even if I had the option, I would still have chosen Priyanka because I’ve never played a bored housewife before. And Mainak has portrayed her loneliness beautifully. I am very happy that he offered me Priyanka.

Tanushree as Tanisha

Your role: I play a self-destructive psychopath who creates trouble in everybody’s life. Tanisha is a prostitute but she doesn’t realise what she’s doing and why she’s doing it. She gets involved with all the men in the film (Abir, Rahul and Rudranil).

Is Tanushree like Tanisha?

No. I am not a prostitute, neither am I a psychopath! And I’m also not as naive as her. Tanisha doesn’t have a bedroom of her own, so she sleeps in other people’s bedrooms.

If you were to choose one man as your partner in Bedroom, who would it be?

Well, all the men use Tanisha. It’s only with Joy (Rahul) that she connects on an emotional level. I am lucky to have all the men in my life!

The other Bedroom woman you would’ve loved to play:

Tanisha, any day! Who would offer me a character with so many shades? I sport a very different look; dreadlocks and hard make-up. It was difficult and challenging.

Parno Mittra as Ritika

Your role: Ritika is a fashion photographer who’s in a live-in relationship with Joy (Rahul). She is more successful than Joy, has a lot of responsibilities and is always irritable. She doesn’t like happy faces around her!

Is Parno like Ritika?

No way! Imagine she doesn’t like smiling faces and I giggle at the slightest provocation! Maybe I could just relate to the fact that she is a working woman.

If you were to swap partners in Bedroom, who would you choose?

Even though we don’t get along at all in the film, I feel Rahul and I have an amazing chemistry. And about choosing another partner, well Anubrata is there in my life too! So there.

The other Bedroom woman you would’ve loved to play: You know what? When Mainak narrated the story, I told him Ritika is such a cool character that I want to play her. And Mainak said, ‘Yes, you are playing Ritika!’ I wouldn’t want to be anybody else in Bedroom.


...and the good/bad boys they are in love or not in love with

Pictures by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya

Bedroom seems to have some spicy bedroom stories. Did you guys identify with your characters?

Rahul: I identified with Joy except that I am not that much of a failure as an actor! (Laughs.)

Rudranil: I have a lot of girlfriends in real life, which makes me a lot like Dev. The only part I couldn’t relate to is that Dev believes in paying for sex while I don’t! (Laughs.) Well, Mainak has got his casting right. At least 50 per cent traits of the characters are what we are in real life. So shooting with us was very easy for him, which makes him an intelligent director! We have never worked in a format like this. Playing this character was different.

Abir: Yes, the amount of briefing we need to play other characters, we didn’t need here. Like Anando, I too belong to the corporate world and have friends who are always juggling their professional and personal lives. I have friends from the corporate world who say they have lost touch with their friends and haven’t spoken to their parents properly for days on end. They can’t remember the last time they chatted with their wives.

Rudranil: But Abir makes sure to prioritise his family life, no matter how tough it is!

Abir: But Anando can’t.

Rudranil: He tries very hard and fails.

Abir: Right. The weaknesses of the characters are highlighted and that’s what makes them very flesh and blood.

Are you nervous that your darker sides might be revealed through your characters?

Rahul: In 2012, no we are not scared.

Abir: If we don’t take such risks now, it will be too risky!

Rudranil: There’s nothing to be scared of. The crisis each character goes through is very today, very Calcutta. Everybody can relate to Bedroom.

Take us through your bedrooms in Bedroom...

Rahul: The condition of my bedroom is very bad! There was a lot of love between Joy and Ritika (Parno) but now they are somehow tolerating each other.

Rudranil: There’s only sex in my bedroom! Dev is a bachelor, so obviously that’s all he does in his bedroom. He’s physically intimate with Ipshita (Ushasie) and other women too. The scenes with Ushasie (read smooches) were really difficult to do. Sex on screen completely depends on how and what the director wants. It’s very agonising!

Abir: My bedroom has actually become a drawing room.

The decor is like a drawing room too, with cushions and flower vases.

Rahul: Bedroom has got an ‘A’ certificate but it’s for a mature audience.

Rudranil: It isn’t a sleaze fest.

Anando is a corporate guy unlike his friends Joy and Dev, who are from the creative field. Anando is quite successful in his career but lacks self-confidence. He is married to Priyanka — Abir Chatterjee as Anando

Joy is a failed actor. He is very talented but he couldn’t really do much in his life. He lives in with Ritika — Rahul as Joy

I play an actor called Dev! One who is very confident of his acting skills. He has a lot of women in his life and isn’t serious about anyone. And he isn’t bothered. He is open to live-in relationships. He isn’t a good boy! — Rudranil Ghosh as Dev


director speak

Mainak Bhaumik returns with his second film Bedroom (which releases this Friday), six years after the urban sex comedy Aamra.

A t2 chat on the why and how...

Why haven’t you made a film all these years?

Actually in Aamra, I had this tremendous amount of independence. It was a digital film and I was dying to make a feature film and for that I was going round and round and round! In between, I made Ami VS Tumi (starring Rahul and Priyanka) and then I got involved as an editor in various films. That’s why the gap.

Like Aamra, Bedroom too maps the young generation...

In a way, yes. In Aamra I had just captured the mood of the young generation, while in Bedroom I have gone deeper into their minds. The focus here is more to expose their darker sides, their vices. In Bedroom, I am dealing with their hypocrisies, ego issues and why their lives look hunky dory from the outside but it’s not so inside. So there aren’t any similarities as such, apart from the fact that by default I am the director of both the films. Stylistically it may look similar because there will be a little bit of me in Bedroom (produced by DC Media).

Why did you choose ‘bedroom’ as the title?

I believe the only way you can know a person is in his bedroom. I wish we had spy cameras inside everybody’s bedrooms, then how easily we could have known what lies beneath that plastered smile. Besides, this huge contrast between the outside life and inside life really got me interested.

You had earlier told t2 that for this film you chose actors who resembled the characters they play...

Yes. In fact for the last couple of years, I was writing a character modelled after Rudra (Rudranil). I was primarily borrowing from whatever he would say. So Dev (Rudranil in Bedroom) is a lot like Rudra. I liked Paoli in Kalbela and she has this interesting combination of a very traditional look with the new-age look. I found Parno mature and bright, quite a contrast to her portrayal of Ranjana (in Ranjana Ami Aar Ashbona). Abir is actually balancing his corporate job with films and he plays a corporate guy in the film. Rahul is, of course, a brilliant actor. Besides, I am a very lazy director, so choosing actors who best suit the roles made my job easier! Also, honestly, I am kind of learning the craft by working with actors I am more comfortable with. After I hone my skills, I want to go into making different kinds of films. For instance, I want to adapt a novel... Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay’s Ghunpoka is something I want to turn into a film.

Anubrata has a cameo in Bedroom?

Well, Anubrata has got this spark. He’s got this odd kinetic energy and in Bedroom he is brilliant! He has done a cameo as an aspiring model who gets involved with Parno’s character and then his mature side is revealed.

All your actors agree that you gave them complete freedom while shooting the bold scenes...

I generally gave them freedom for most of the scenes. I believe the best way to get great performances is by getting good actors to come closer to their characters. My lazy rule number 50!