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regular-article-logo Monday, 15 April 2024

Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee on the success of Haami 2

‘We are really happy with the way the audience are showering their love on the film’

Published 02.01.23, 07:02 AM

The story of two middle-class parents, Laltu and Mitali (played by Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Gargee Roychowdhury) struggling to admit their child to some of the best schools in town had made for a heartfelt watch in 2014. Ramdhanu drove home the point that it is always about the best education and not the best school. In 2018, Haami — with Laltu and Mitali taking centre stage — focused on the friendship between kids and their relationship with their parents. Now, Laltu and Mitali are back, dealing with the repercussions when their child participates in a reality show in Haami 2, which is running to packed shows. A t2 chat with director duo Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee.

How is the feedback?

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Shiboprosad: The feedback is amazing. Haami 2 made Rs 1.79 crore in the first week, as the film worked in both plexes and single screens with huge seating capacity. In the first three days, the film made Rs 91 lakh. With the increase in hall numbers, the film made Rs 90 lakh in the second weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) as well.

Haami 2 started with 170 shows and we had more than 80 houseful shows on Christmas Day. We are really happy with the way the audience is showering their love on Haami 2. People have loved all our four films in 2022. This year alone, with our four films, we have generated a business of Rs 17 crore for this industry. This is the first time we released a film on Christmas. We had already delivered a blockbuster in Belashuru and now with another superhit, we can’t feel any better.

Has the viewing pattern of the audience changed in the last two years?

Nandita: They are watching more films. The footfall has increased in theatres. We had back-to-back houseful shows in Star Theatre. Generally, people here don’t opt for night shows, but we asked for a night show in Star Theatre and that got a huge response from the crowds. I saw so many children queuing up at that hour. In Asoka Cinema, Behala, it is going houseful every day.

2022 has been one of the best years for the Bengali film industry. It is very heartening and encouraging. One thing is very clear — the content has to be really good. Different kinds of films have worked this year, from children’s films, family dramas, thrillers to adventure films.

Films with completely different kinds of concepts like Baba, Baby, O and Lokkhi Chhele from our production house have worked very well.

Do you also feel inspired to take on different kinds of subjects in your upcoming films?

Nandita: Yes, we feel the time is right for us to challenge ourselves with new subjects. It is important. It’ll also surprise the audience. The audience expects something new from us. We want to get into genres we have not gone before and do things we have not done so far.

Did you notice any particular trend at the theatres?

Shiboprosad: Star Theatre is known for its three shows that run at noon, 3pm and 6pm. People flock to the theatres during those timings. I requested them to give us another show at 9pm. Haami 2 went houseful on several days at the 9pm shows. So the trend is that if the content is good, people will throng theatres, no matter what time of the day or night it is.

The poster of Haami 2

The poster of Haami 2

You like to interact with the audience. What are they saying?

Shiboprosad: They want to see Haami 3 next! Our child actors, Ritodeep Sengupta, Aritrika Choudhuri and Shreyan Saha, are also visiting theatres with us. Shreyan, in particular, has been asking if people want to watch his film. Many said they want to see Haami 3. One man from the audience in Star Theatre asked for the microphone. He took it and then said: ‘Put a zero next to the number three. We want to see the franchise till Haami 30!’

So is Haami 3 in the pipeline?

Shiboprosad: We haven’t thought about it yet... but Haami 3 will definitely happen... maybe two years later.

Why do you think Haami 2 is resonating with the audience?

Nandita: The chemistry between Laltu and Mitali. The storyline. The theme. The dynamics between the children. The performances of everyone. Audience members are shouting, ‘Laltu Babu, Laltu Babu’. Even kids are saying the same.

Shiboprosad: It is a great feeling for an actor when your character becomes so popular and connects with the audience. People also love the songs and the track between the two brothers.

Are people also commenting on one of the themes of the film — the reality show and the role of children in it?

Nandita: It is a reality. We are not taking a stance on reality shows.... it is not for us to say whether a reality show is good or bad. We are saying that a child should be handled carefully when he or she participates in a reality show.

If a show depicts the elimination of a child from a show in an emotional way, it may affect the TRP of that show but it also might destroy the innocence of that particular child. It can create a deep impact on that child at the cost of the TRP.

‘Don’t try to be a wonder. It’ll overwhelm you.’ This piece of dialogue that Anjan Dutt says in the film has come in for a lot of praise. What is the story behind that?

Shiboprosad: We had felt that a strong piece of logic should be there in the film. Someone has to tell the kid or the system that he is not a wonder kid actually. Wonder eventually fades away and a child needs guidance to hone his skills. Having said that, Anjanda has performed really well.

How did the idea for Haami 2 come to you?

Nandita: The idea actually came to us much before Haami. We would hold these auditions for children and during these auditions the parents would talk highly of their kids, and say how brilliantly they had performed at events.

The parents would encourage the kids to perform something for us at that moment. This would create pressure on the children and we did not like this at all. It put us in an awkward position.

Also, we did not like the participation of kids in the reality shows. We have seen many child artistes just fade away.

Interestingly, our film has three kids in the lead who are a part of the story. They are getting acclaim and appreciation for their performance. They are going through the process. But we try to treat them as normally as possible. We’ve told their parents too... to treat them normally.

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