Jeet and his team have been working on ideas that connect with both the urban and rural audience. “And sometimes you can have that one film that can change the dynamics. I hope it is Baazi,” smiles Jeet. A t2 chat....
What drew you to Baazi?
It is a revenge story. We liked the idea… and the storytelling, screenplay and the writing part are very smart and sleek. And yet, the film is very mass-y. We figured that it was an interesting way to tell a story.
I am doing a mainstream, hardcore commercial film after some time. Sultan was the last one (in that genre). After Sultan, I did a few films, which were not in that hardcore, mainstream space. Baazi just lands in the mainstream, where you have songs, action, dance and entertainment.
When it comes to remakes, things are changing. In other markets, nationally, the remakes — and there are many — are performing really well at the box office. Every now and then we have tried with all kinds of ideas, be it original or remake. I feel we should bring something new to the people, and something that connects with a wider audience.
What kind of feedback are you getting on social media for the Baazi trailer and songs?
Fantastic! It started on a good note and eventually it kept on growing, especially since our first song Aye nah kache came around the month of May and then the trailer, followed by the romantic track Tor bhul bhangabo ki kore bol and the last track Baare baare. The feedback that we got is that Puja jome jabe ai gaan gulo teh!
You are working on ideas that connect with both the urban and rural audiences. Is Baazi the film that will bridge the gap?
I hope so but it’s a gradual process and it has to be series of films that will bridge the gap for both the urban and rural audiences. But sometimes you can have that one film that can change the dynamics. I hope it is Baazi.
Baazi is an official remake. What is the best way to do a remake for the audience here?
Bengal has a fantastic and skilled set of craftsmen, technicians and fantastic artistes in our industry. Also, we have seen in the past that we can remake or adapt some of the big-scale films in the best versions within our time constraint and budget. It sometimes surprises people from different industries. I have some friends in other industries and they get amazed. And we have talked to broadcasters… we have our digital team also… we are getting to know more and more about what kind of content connects deeper and has a greater reach.
You are paired with Mimi for the first time. How was your experience working with her?
Wonderful working with her. Great fun with her on the sets and when it comes to heroines there is a rule of thumb... we practise — handle it with care. We both were looking forward to working with each other, and thankfully everything fell into place for this film. Discussions were on for some time about working together… and people on social media were also making these suggestions that they would like to see us in a film together. As an actor, we all know how good Mimi is. She is looking gorgeous in the film. The beautiful thing about Mimi is that her innocence is still intact. She has this honesty… and her heart is in the right place. Our pairing has got us good feedback... even my father told us that both of us are looking good on screen when he first saw the trailer.
What new things did you get to discover about Mimi the actor?
As I was working with her for the first time everything was new for me.
Baazi is a revenge story with tons of action. What is the key to pulling off thrilling action scenes? Is it about the fight techniques or special effects?
I enjoy doing action scenes and I hear people like seeing me doing action. Moreover, Baazi is more of an IQ revenge story.
Do you want to shift gears and do a comedy next?
If I get a good script, of course yes.
What was playing on your mind when you heard about Covid-19 during the shoot in London?
Before going to London only I wasn’t getting a good feeling. Still, we took a chance and three days after shooting we got to know it was declared a pandemic. An announcement was made that everybody shooting had to get back to their respective countries... so we decided that our work can be completed later. The way Covid affected the world we all have witnessed it but I am glad things are much better now.
How challenging was it to shoot during a pandemic?
We had to stay in a bio bubble when we went for the second time... which meant, travelling from hotel to work and work to hotel. So thankfully our crew members were pretty disciplined and maintained all norms, so everything went pretty smooth
Did anything surprise you during the shoot?
We are associated with such a beautiful profession that every day some things surprise us.
What would you do after pack-up?
We did rehearsals, a bit of gym as the unit stayed together so later we dined and chilled together! London is always great to shoot because of the locale and outdoor.
What are your Puja plans?
I will be at home spending time with family and friends and hoping everybody is watching Baazi in theatres near them.
Tell us about your look in this film….
This is how I look in real life… and we decided to go with this look. I have only played around with my hairstyle, and added the spectacles. In this film, there is a lot of opportunity to wear good clothes and look good. I had worn rimless specs many years ago… and this one is rimless too (in Baazi). That was a rectangular-shaped one and this one is a bit round-ish in shape.
Do you ever think of getting into direction?
At some point of time I had thought about it … but no longer. See, I am happy with what I am doing. Every day we learn something. The technology is changing so fast every day.
Do you feel fantasy adventure films, action thrillers and family dramas make waves at the Bengali box office?
Spectacular films, strong content and films that hold the audience interest for two hours or more (will perform well at the box office). Theatre culture will always be there.