'I am here to work'

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By Five hits in four years later, Raj Chakraborty feels he has made more foes than friends in the industry Kushali Nag Do you like Raj Chakraborty's films? Tell t2@abp.in
  • Published 27.05.11

Awaiting the June 3 release of his new film Shatru, starring Jeet and debutante Nusrat, Raj Chakraborty tells t2 about life in the Tolly lane.

You are not as visible in the social circuit as you were before. Why are you so low-key all of a sudden?

Yes, that’s because I have realised that the kind of profession I am in, nobody is a friend. That’s why I have omitted those names from my life and the time I would spend with them I now use it for myself. And I am happy that way. Besides, if friends drift away, they were never friends in the first place. I don’t go to parties any more because I am a very emotional person and there I see faces who I, at one point of time, thought were my friends! Besides, the realisation dawned on me, though very late, that I am not here to make friends. I am here to work. That’s fine because I am crazy about my work. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than being able to do good cinema.

Would you mind naming a few such friends?

No, I don’t want to...

Shatru will release on the same day as Rajib Kumar’s Paglu. Are you feeling insecure?

No, no. Why? See, I am so occupied with the promotion and publicity of Shatru that I simply don’t have the time to think of what other films are releasing alongside Shatru. But I hope that Paglu does well too because a film involves a lot of things... someone’s money, passion... everything is involved. So just as I want Shatru to do well, I also wish Paglu luck.... Shatru is a very entertaining film. The kind of packaging that we’ve done is huge. It’s shot very stylistically. There are powerful dialogues, there’s comedy too. It’s a very commercial, masala movie.

Of the six films you’ve made in the last four years, Le Chakka didn’t do as well as the rest, which were all produced by Shree Venkatesh Films. What do you think?

Well, if that is true then I would like to take up the challenge of doing more films with other banners and see whether I succeed or fail. See, I am not a businessman, I am a director, a creative person and when I make a film I don’t always have hit or flop on my mind. Filmmaking is a process that teaches you a lot. And I am not god that all my films will be hits. In fact, I would love to do films with different banners and see why and where I am failing so that by failing again and again, I would learn the formula for success. And let me also mention that Le Chakka is a film I loved doing. Irrespective of box office records, it is very close to my heart. Some films work, some don’t. That’s life, but the films that don’t work I don’t disown them. Each film is a step ahead in life.

Shatru has the look and feel of Dabangg…

Maybe because it’s a cop story and like Salman Khan in Dabangg, Jeet too sports a moustache. The similarity ends there. The story of Dibakar Singha (Jeet) is very different from Chulbul Pandey (Salman).

In your films, the packaging is vital. The hero has a lot of attitude, it’s shot stylistically, you go to virgin locations to shoot the songs. What about focusing more on the content?

I’ve always believed that there are two types of films. One is entertaining, the other is also entertaining but has a strong story and there I don’t have much scope for style because that will take away from the story. I didn’t show style and attitude in my debut film Chirodini… Tumi Je Amar or Prem Amar, because the story was the star there. But I am also very fond of masala movies where the story takes a back seat and the location, dialogues and style come to the fore. Besides, people expect such films from Raj Chakraborty from time to time, you know. The audience knows that a Raj Chakraborty film means they will get to see a new location in the song sequence... a different kind of packaging.

Who among the contemporary Tolly directors do you like?

I like Rajib’s (Kumar) films a lot. Besides, I can relate to him because like me he too is a struggler. I also like Birsa’s (Dasgupta) ideas and thoughts on filmmaking. We have been trying to do something together for long. And I loved Srijit’s (Mukherjee) Autograph.

When are you teaming up with Dev again?

Whenever I have a story that suits Dev. I like working with Dev. Who wouldn’t? After all, he is a superstar!

Have you planned your next film?

Not yet. I am doing television at the moment. I am directing a mega serial for ABP TV but I can’t divulge any details.