Watch out for Anandi Ghose in Rituparno’s Satyanweshi!

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By Mohua Das Do you want to see Anandi in more films? Tell t2@abp.in
  • Published 30.04.13
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She is habitually reticent, ducking from cameras, working from the wings and leading a more private life than most celebrity kids. You might have spotted her as an assistant director, costume designer, art director or in bit roles here and there but Anandi Ghose, filmmaker Goutam Ghose’s daughter, is all set to make her presence felt in Rituparno Ghose’s Bomkesh film Satyanweshi.

LEARNING FROM A fave filmmaker

“I was at a book launch when Rituda called me and said, ‘I want you to play a part… paash korte hobe kintu amar film-ey.’ I thought he just wanted me to do something in the film. Later when he asked me to come for a reading I was like, ‘Are you sure?!’”

Though “reluctant at first”, Anandi let down her guard after falling in love with her character and the script. The chance to work with one of her favourite filmmakers was also a factor. “I’ve known Rituda forever and been wanting to work with him for a while, observe his way of filmmaking, but never really got around to it. I never thought it would be through acting but it’s been fantastic. I didn’t realise that I’d be so much at ease in front of the camera. Rituda really guides you through a shot. With him, you have this complete faith that he has your back and won’t let things go wrong.”

Anandi plays the young widow Leela, who lives with her ayurved father played by Sibaji Bandyopadhyay, professor of culture studies at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences.

“Both our characters as father and daughter are vital to the plot because of the way we get entangled in the larger scheme of things,” says Anandi, back from a four-day schedule for Satyanweshi in Siliguri.

And what was it like to partner her college professor? “Sibajida was an extremely popular professor (at Jadavpur University). I had seen him around campus but never really studied under him. This was my first interaction and he’s one of the most scholarly persons I’ve met. He’s also a great performer. Most of my scenes were with him and our language today is so warped that I was always conscious about speaking correctly before him! It was very enriching.”

Being Leela

For a city-bred Anandi, a student of English literature, trained in dance and piano with photography, trekking and paragliding on her list of hobbies, it wasn’t an easy task to get down to playing a 1940s village widow with burn marks and an agonised gaze.

“The make-up put me in character. I was actually feeling the burn on me. That apart, I had to get my pace right. I’m a very hyper... I am very today! So being slow was a tough thing,” laughs Anandi. “But what I really liked was Leela’s amazing silent strength... pretty much her own person with a lot of simplicity as well as complexity.”

Anandi’s previous acting stints were in her father’s films and tele-serials, and the Soumitra Chatterjee play Homa Pakhi. “In Homa Pakhi I had a small presence on stage but I learnt a lot from Soumitrajethu. For Yatra and Kalbela, I didn’t have any prep. It was a last-minute thing. I was AD on both the sets. If one day I was writing continuity, the next day I was acting. This feels like the first time that I’m really acting. Never got into a character so much. The whole focus and prep has been very different.”

In her father’s footsteps

What about tips and advice from her father? “I’ve never given my father’s stardom much importance! (Laughs) I’m very close to him and whatever I’ve learnt in terms of filmmaking, acting, aesthetics... has been from my parents. My father’s never really held classes with me or sat me down and given advice but he really is my teacher and although we take our parents for granted, I realise how much I’ve imbibed when I’m working with others.”

Anandi prefers to keep herself busy playing different roles in different projects with different directors. “I enjoy each project as it comes. I don’t see if it’s getting me anywhere career-wise. That doesn’t mean I’m lazy but I’m not a go-getter either. Every film is a course in filmmaking and I enjoy that process. What I eventually want to do is make a film. That’s my priority,” she says, having set up her own production house O Fish! a year ago to do fiction and non-fiction films. “We’re planning on starting film-related workshops this summer, like a refresher course for professionals and introduction for beginners.” Way to go, girl!

Star sign: Pisces

Studied: BA in English from JU

Favourite actors: Javier Bardem, Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil

Currently reading: Haruki Murakami

Acted in: Yatra, Kalbela, Homa Pakhi (play)

Hobbies: Travelling, trekking, dance, photography

Fave Goutam Ghose films: Maa Bhoomi, Paar, Meeting a Milestone

Fave Rituparno Ghosh films: Utsab, Shubha Mahurat, Asukh