The film Golondaaj, directed by Dhrubo Banerjee, is inspired by the life of legendary football player Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikary, who is known as the father of Indian football. Sarbadhikary made an immense contribution to Indian football and went on to set up many football clubs in Calcutta. Dev plays Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikary in the historical fiction while Ishaa Saha plays his wife Kamalini. A candid chat.
Golondaaj has created a huge buzz. What kind of feedback are you receiving on social media till now?
Dev: Very, very positive. It is a great feeling. Our work has been appreciated. People are talking about our chemistry. We are really excited about the film and looking forward to the day the film hits the theatres. It is a very special film for us... it feels amazing to bring forward the remarkable achievements of Nagendra Prasad, the father of Indian football. It is our attempt at intricately unravelling characters — flesh, blood and soul.
Ishaa: It feels wonderful to have so many people showering us with so much love. Our expectations are really high. We have all really worked hard. Dev is so, so good in the film, he was like Nagendra Prasad on set.
Dev: Our sequences have come out really well. The film has beautifully captured the period and both of us are looking like Nagendra and Kamalini.
What were the first thoughts that crossed your mind when you got to know that you have been paired together for the first time?
Dev: I knew that she would be in the film! Since Ishaa had worked with Dhrubo before, I had guessed that she would be there. Of course, it is the director’s call and I never get involved in this process. After all, film-making is all about team work. Everyone puts in their best. Every actor has his or her own rhythm, vibe. I got to know about her acting space on the sets of Golondaaj. We had not socialised before.
Both of you were present at the t2 parties!
Dev: Yes, and we would be there in different groups with different sets of people. I started getting to know her on the set.
How exciting was the first day of shoot with the two of you?
Dev: We fell off the horse in our first shot for the film! Before this scene, I had a run through with the horse. It had broken into a nice gallop. It was perfectly fine. Everything was going well.
Ishaa: It was my first time on a horse.
Dev: And she wasn’t getting her balance right. And a horse understands. The moment the horse realises that you are uncomfortable, he’ll try to throw you off.
What happened in the second schedule?
Dev: From the second schedule, we really got into the intense scenes. It was an emotional part of the film. The weight of the scene was immense. Her innocence worked for the character.
Ishaa: We got into a groove after doing one or two scenes.
Dev and Ishaa
Ishaa, tell us about the Dev films that you have seen?
Ishaa: I have seen quite a few, from Chander Pahar to Amazon Obhijaan. I really liked Le Chakka with its north Calcutta premise. Dev was extremely helpful on the sets, putting in his best for the film. He can work really hard. And when I was seeing him put in so much effort, I also felt like giving it everything. Stepping up the ante!
Dev: Her work was really challenging, and she has made an impact.
What did you discover about each other?
Dev: She is a very powerful actor. For example, she can give 10 different variations for 10 takes.
Ishaa: I remember one particular scene, he was so encouraging. He is a team player. And he would look after everyone. He is extremely dedicated.
Dev: And one doesn’t need 10-20 scenes to establish chemistry, we have a few and I feel we will touch the hearts of the audiences with our performances. It’ll feel very genuine.
Is there a song featuring the two of you?
Dev: Yes. It is poetry in motion. Shot beautifully.
Ishaa: Every department has worked with so much care. And you’ll be transported to that period.
Picture: Rashbehari Das
Location courtesy: Novotel