Team Michael goes on a dream journey with t2
The comedy film Michael, directed by Satrajit Sen, is about chasing and realising one’s dreams. Mir plays Michael, an aspiring director who dreams of making a film with has-been actor Mayurbahan Chatterjee (Soumitra Chatterjee). A meeting with Mayurbahan sets off a series of events that leads to various things happening in Michael’s life that allows him to embark on his dream. Team Michael (Swastika Mukherjee playing Mir’s wife, Sayani Datta playing his assistant and Arunima Ghosh as an IPS officer) got together at Phoenix recently to talk about their dreams and how they got to realise them. Michael releases today...
I was supposed to do my PhD, MPhil, research and be in that zone. But films and acting became a part of my existence. When I started shooting for a television serial, I noticed people were coming to the shooting floor just to see how I was doing since I was Santu Mukherjee’s daughter. That’s when I started taking tips from my father. Since I was doing a mega, I got the opportunity to face the camera every day, and whatever I learnt from dad, I would go back and apply it the next day. That was my process of learning. And then Ek Akasher Niche happened and that was a turning point since I got the chance to work with Ravi Ojha and Anindya Banerjee. I started finding interest and I thought that I should take this up seriously. Then I started getting offers for other mega serials and gradually films followed. And when I left television, I had done more than 45 telefilms. I am very hungry as an actor and I want to do good roles. Which is why I wanted to play someone like Shinjini (an opinionated housewife)... I have not done something like this in my career. There’s another dream too — I really want to travel. Also, I have always done my own make-up for my films, and I would like to do a two-month make-up course.
I happened to radio and radio happened to me. Listening to the radio was one of my fave pastimes. When the football World Cup was held in Italy, that’s when my father allowed a television at home. I would emulate radio personalities, and I used to write letters to radio programmes and my only dream was if someone says my name on radio for once. Radio gave me wings to fly into other professions as well. Everything else — like acting in films, doing the television show Mirakkel — stemmed from that. Will I direct a film? Yes, but it won’t be a comedy. I am so tired of the funnyman tag. It limits my range of activity.
I was a huge Sridevi fan and I used to watch all her movies. When I was in Class V, I started dreaming of becoming an actress. My family was full of doctors and engineers but I had no interest in that. I wanted to do something different. And finally, when I was in Class X, I worked up the courage to tell everyone at home that I wanted to become an actress. I would then visit the studios to watch shoots. One day a director there noticed me and asked me if I would like to act. That’s how I landed my first serial at 16.
I was very passionate about bikes and cars, and as a 13-year-old I used to dream of becoming a rally driver. As I grew older and switched a couple of jobs, I got into music production. Then I saw some of my friends quitting jobs and doing films and that gave me confidence to form a production company with two friends. I was producing, co-producing, marketing, distributing and releasing a lot of independent films. I won the National Award for Bakita Byaktigato in 2014 as the producer. Incidentally, I got to meet a couple of Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute alumni in Calcutta. And one day they showed me how you can keep and take back a cup of coffee in 48 different ways. That floored and intrigued me, and I decided to study in the Institute. I wanted to make a film and for that I knew I had to learn. I went and stayed there for three months. We started planning Michael in 2014 and finally it is ready for release. I have another dream... to be able to set up a medical emergency service for pets.
I saw Madhuri Dixit in Dil Toh Pagal Hai on screen and I was hooked. Since I don’t come from a film background, I had to help myself. My father fitted large mirrors on a wall in my Howrah home, so that every morning I could practise before the mirror. My friend told me to take out a school book, turn a page and say the lines in front of the mirror. I have done that from Class X to second year in college in Mumbai. One day I met Sohag Sen at a club and that’s when things changed. I went to her place and she gave me a poem to recite. A few days later I got a call for my first film, Na Hanyate. And now it feels so great to have shared screen space with Soumitra Chatterjee in Michael.
Pictures: Chanchal Ghosh
Smoke screen: Anjan Dutt, Amyt Datta and Neel Dutt got together at Tantra, The Park, for the shoot of the music video for the song Cigarette, which forms a part of the soundtrack for Anjan’s April release — the musical Aami Ashbo Phirey, starring Swastika Mukherjee, Sauraseni Maitra and Darshana Banik. The film has seven songs, and music videos have been specially made for three of the songs. The smoky vibe of the Cigarette music video comes from a Bob Dylan concert, which Anjan had attended a few years back at The Royal Albert Hall. “The cigarette is something that turns to ashes... and the song is about making the most of life, because no matter what you do, life turns to ashes. Change yourself, don’t hang on to old ideas, don’t waste your time. It is a jivey, nice song,” said Anjan.
Aami Ashbo Phirey is a film about listeners and how songs heal their lives. “A lot of people have told me that they fell in love because of 2441139, or that they emerged from a crisis by connecting with one of my songs. So the film is about how music changes people’s lives,” said Anjan. The album (of Aami Ashbo Phirey) will be launched on February 12 at Hard Rock Cafe, and it’ll be Anjan and Neel’s first album in 11 years.
Pictures: Pabitra Das