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‘Konkona helped me stop overdirecting my actors,’ says Aparna Sen at Jio MAMI film festival

The Rapist, directed by Aparna Sen and featuring Konkona Sensharma and Arjun Ranpal, was recently screened at Jio MAMI

Agnivo Niyogi Calcutta Published 31.10.23, 10:29 AM
(L-R) Aparna Sen, Konkona Sensharma and Arjun Rampal on the sets of The Rapist

(L-R) Aparna Sen, Konkona Sensharma and Arjun Rampal on the sets of The Rapist ZEE5

Konkona Sensharma helped Aparna Sen evolve as a director, the renowned filmmaker shared during an interactive session at the ongoing 23rd Jio MAMI Film Festival in Mumbai. Aparna was attending the screening of her film The Rapist, starring Konkona, Arjun Rampal and Tanmay Dhanania, and produced by Applause Entertainment, which left the audience spellbound and received a resounding standing ovation.

“I had directed Konkona in a film called 15 Park Avenue. As a director also you keep learning along the way. I used to overdirect my actors earlier. Then, I got it from her… I articulate and get the script right, and let the actors do their job. There’s dialogue and I let them perform ad lib. They know the characters and so they know exactly what to do,” said Aparna who was moved by the enthusiastic response from the audience.


She took the stage and expressed her gratitude while encouraging the audience to engage in a meaningful dialogue about the film, transcending any hesitance that the title might provoke. “We had extensive debates on the title, considering various suggestions. However, I chose 'The Rapist' because it is direct and hard-hitting, focusing on the critical issues we need to address,” she added.

Speaking about her collaborations with her mother, Konkona said she was lucky enough to be living it. “My mother is nothing if not great… And this journey continues. Hopefully there will be many more,” the National award-winning actress said.

Aparna also had words of praise for Arjun Rampal, who plays a pivotal role in the film. “Arjun is so beautiful, one simply cannot see past his looks, but I knew he was right for the role and the character. However, even as a director, it was a revelation how understated his acting is,” the filmmaker said.

“I’ve always wanted to work with Aparna, and finally, I got the chance. We did workshops to understand our characters better. I was very involved in the script, I had lots of questions that I kept asking and finding answers in my character’s journey,” Arjun said.

He praised his co-star Konkona, with whom he had the maximum screen time in the film as husband and wife. “Konkona brings this nervous energy to the set. She’s always super critical about her work. She would keep asking if the shot or scene was looking good, and we would go back and forth perfecting it. She’s also done a brilliant job.”

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