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Soham Majumdar’s journey: Shahid Kapoor’s friend in Kabir Singh to security guard Rishi in Dilkhush

Directed by Rahool Mukherjee, Dilkhush also stars Madumita Sarcar, Anirban Bhattacharya, Aparajita Adhya, Kharaj Mukherjee and Paran Bandopadhyay

Soujannya Das Calcutta Published 31.01.23, 03:25 PM
Soham Majumdar with Shahid Kapoor in Kabir Singh.

Soham Majumdar with Shahid Kapoor in Kabir Singh.

He played Shahid Kapoor’s friend in his Bollywood debut, Kabir Singh, and Ritabhari Chakraborty’s supportive husband in the Tollywood film, Brahma Janen Gopon Kommoti. Soham Majumdar has been on a roll since, juggling projects in both the film industries. The Dilkhush actor shares his acting journey with us.

You are an engineer. How did films happen to you?

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Soham Majumdar: I am not a proud engineer. I spent five years studying engineering with a lot of pain. I hardly know anything about engineering. I had a little bit of a respite because I started my own theatre group, MAD (Mad About Drama), way back in 2011. The stage was a breather for me from all the frustrations I had towards studying engineering. Because of the compulsory internship in a big multinational company, I realised that I did not want to be an engineer.

I had no intention to treat theatre as a ladder to get to films. In theatre, I was having a great time telling stories my way. Before this, I had done a Bengali film — Kaushik Ganguly’s Drishtikone (2018). I had directed a play in which his son, Ujaan, was an actor. Kaushik Ganguly had come to watch that play; he liked my performance in it and offered me Drishtikone.

You gained a huge recognition with your Bollywood debut Kabir Singh, where you played Shahid Kapoor’s friend. How did that film happen?

Soham Majumdar: Disney was planning a musical show called Aladdin. They started auditioning all across the country. I auditioned, got selected and went to Bombay. I had made a few friends in Bombay who were friends with the casting associates of an agency. Through them I was recommended for the audition of Kabir Singh. I almost thought of not going for it as I did not have much time to prepare for it because I was rehearsing for Aladdin. But the universe was kind. I bagged the film.

The first day of shooting Kabir Singh was very scary. We had a preparation period for about six months before we got onto the shoot floor. I had been on a film set before but the whole magnanimity of a Hindi film set, that too a film like Kabir Singh, will intimidate anybody.

We started shooting the scenes for the second half of the film. The first scene we shot was where I’m letting Kabir know that his grandmother has died. That was the first scene I performed. We did not shoot the film linearly. On the first day itself, I had to be deep into the character. It was challenging. Eventually people loved me, and I think I can give a pat on my back.

Dilkhush is a story of eight individuals from different backgrounds who discover love and there’s a melancholic vein running through them all. What is it about the script that made you take it up?

Soham Majumdar: I knew the director Rahool Mukherjee long before Dilkhush happened. I was on a flight from Bombay to Calcutta and was waiting for take-off when Rahulda called and said he had a script where I had to beat up ten villains and send them flying! This made me say yes to the film. After I read the script, I felt I should be a part of it. It was a lot of fun doing it.

Some people might compare Dilkhush to ensemble love films they have seen before, like Life in a… Metro. But the socio-economic and socio-political backgrounds are very different. Life has changed. People have moved into the digital age where everyone is living their life through an app. In this film, an app has a particular role to play. The representation of the present happens beautifully in Dilkhush through a few love stories. That’s what attracted me to the film.

Soham Majumdar and Madhumita Sarcar in Dilkhush, running in cinemas.

Soham Majumdar and Madhumita Sarcar in Dilkhush, running in cinemas. Instagram

Among the four stories involving eight people, which is your favourite? Any character other than yours that you would have liked to play?

Soham Majumdar: My character, Rishi, runs a cyber cafe during the day and works as a security guard at night. He appears to be casual but is actually an emotional person. I loved Kharaj Mukherjee’s character, Shakti. I loved his track too. The story between Kharaj Mukherjee and Aparajita Adhya is beautiful. Kharajda plays an actor who has failed in life but not in his eyes. In his head, he is a superstar. I relate to this character. I may not be that much of a failure, but here there is such a thin line between success and failure.

How was it working with Madhumita Sarcar?

Soham Majumdar: It did not feel like work. She’s a very sensible person. We used to talk about Physics and her ability to solve a Rubik’s cube in under 15 seconds. I can’t do that! For Dilkhush, I requested workshops. We had a rigorous 10-15 days of workshops where both of us and the director met regularly. To create the backstories for our character, I felt it was very important to know each other.

What do you bring to your craft from theatre and films?

Soham Majumdar: My only intention is to achieve the truth of the character that I am playing in both the mediums. I am not sure how good I am at it. I regret that I am not able to do theatre now. I have been travelling a lot between Kolkata and Bombay, and I am dying to get back to theatre.

What do you feel is the main difference between the Bengali and Hindi film industries?

Soham Majumdar: Hindi is a widely accepted market across the world whereas Bengali is just spoken in the eastern region. Hindi films can cater to a larger market and for this, they get a higher budget. The marketing campaigns of a Hindi film are so widespread. We can get to that stage if we unite ourselves as the eastern region and stop calling ourselves the Bengali film industry. For example, a south film releases all around Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the other states. They are released in all four southern languages. If we can do that over here, in Odisha and Assam, that would be great. And if we can consider Bangladesh too… This can help our industry have a budget to tell our stories in a little more relaxed manner.

What are your upcoming projects?

Soham Majumdar: I have done a lot of work in Bengal which is yet to come out. That apart, there is a film called Pippa, directed by Raja Krishna Menon, alongside Mrunal Thakur. I did a film with Maddock Films, which will come out sometime this year. I am going to start shooting for an Amazon Prime show, which is going to be huge.

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