After the success of Cheeni in 2020, Mainak Bhaumik’s latest film Cheeni 2 also promises to be an entertaining watch. Starring the lead duo of the earlier film, Madhumita Sarcar and Aparajita Adhya, who once again reunite on screen as its central characters, it is a double love story, with a difference. A t2 chat with Madhumita Sarcar, who portrays the eponymous character in the film that hits theatres today.
You must be excited about the release of Cheeni 2….
You know, I generally do not have any personal expectations from my films. Whenever I am given any script, I try to understand the director’s vision and if he is happy with my performance, that’s all I care about. And once the film is done, I try not to think about it anymore, because there is nothing more I can do about it. But yes, I am looking forward to the film’s release. And if I have reflected my director’s ideas well and if the audience likes my performance, I will find that extremely gratifying.
In what ways is your role inCheeni 2 different from the earlier Cheeni portrayed by you?
As you know, this film is not a sequel to the previous film. The story and the characters here are completely different from that in Cheeni. The names of certain characters like Belapishi, Mishti and Cheeni have been used in this film, but their bonding or relationship to one another has no connection with the earlier film. My character Cheeni in the older film belongs to a completely different universe. She was uptight and looked for perfection in everything; she could never embrace imperfections. In Cheeni 2, my character is a bit bohemian in her outlook. She has unconventional tastes, which are reflected in her lifestyle or choice of partners. She doesn’t believe in love. She knows she is imperfect from within but is happy to solve others’ problems. However, both Cheenis are similar in one important way. Just as sugar (cheeni) adds taste and flavour to any dish, similarly, when both Cheenis blend in the lives of other people, they make life sweeter and more interesting for them.
Did your experience of acting in Cheeni influence your portrayal in Cheeni 2?
Not really. As I said before, they are poles apart in terms of personality and are not connected to each other in any way. This was a unique character, quite different from my earlier role. I just went by the essence of the character as explained to me by my director and the situation outlined to me by him in any particular scene.
The film celebrates the power of friendship. What does friendship mean to you?
Friendship means a very deep connection. In friendship, nothing else matters except this connection. To me, a friend is someone with whom I can spend time endlessly, with whom I want to be all the time because it makes me happy. It is not something that can be measured, but its presence or absence in life makes all the difference. A friend can be anyone with whom you can establish this connection — young or old, woman or man. Two people can be total opposites of each other and can still strike up a beautiful friendship. Even a total stranger can become a friend if your wavelengths match.
What is it about the film that appealed to you most?
I love Cheeni 2 for its original approach to relationships. Also, it does not merely focus on the restrictions imposed on women or the privileges enjoyed by men. Instead, it celebrates every kind of relationship and shows us how to find happiness in simplicity amidst life’s complexities.
These days, whenever we see a film, we look out for complexities and try to discover and unravel layers of meaning from it. However, one of the virtues of this film is that it says what it wants to say in the simplest of ways. Yet the story is filled with emotions, laughter and tears and I am sure it has all the qualities that will make the audience relate to it very easily.
Tell us something about your chemistry with Mishti (Aparajita Adhya).
The best part about working on this film is that I have worked with fantastic co-actors from whom I have learnt a lot, specially Anirban Chakrabarti, whose work I am a big fan of. As for Apadi (Aparajita Adhya), she and I share a different kind of bonding. We may not be the best of friends off-screen, but I admire her a lot. And whenever we meet on set, we immediately click. Of late, we have worked together quite a bit and so our comfort level has grown from there too. I think the connection we share is intrinsic to our respective roles and I hope that here too we have brought out the best in each other.
You must be looking forward to making your debut in Hindi films. Tell us something about the project.
This is a film titled Farz and I have been paired opposite Tanuj Virwani, one of the finest actors in OTT at the moment. That itself is a big achievement for me. I am excited to start working on the film which is set to go on the floors later this month. I got very little time to prepare for the role because right now I am shooting for another Bengali film. But I am practising my Hindi, attending Hindi classes and simultaneously practising from my script. As for my character, it is something I have never done before. I cannot reveal much about the story now but I can only say that it has got a strong romantic angle. So right now, I am terribly busy with work but I am enjoying it.