March 25 (Calcutta Tube): Achin Pakhi-the Bengali movie by filmmaker Anjan Das is releasing in Kolkata tomorrow. Mr. Das talks about the Bengali film Achin Pakhi in an exclusive interview with Calcutta Tube. Subrat Dutta and Manali Dey are playing the lead roles in the movie. Achin Pakhi is a simple love story for all.
Calcutta Tube: You are a gerat filmmaker. But still we have not had that many movies from you. Why is that?
Anjan Das: I made the film Sainik in 1976. After that I have not made any films for a long gap of 25 years as I did not get any producers. Sanjhbatir Rupkathara was my comeback movie in 2001 and I will complete my seventh film with Achin Pakhi.
Calcutta Tube: Some of your films did not do good at the box-office, sometimes they were not released properly. So, when you are making films of distinct tastes and genre, what is the most challenging part? Is it only the production, or there is something else?
Anjan Das: The production is of course one of the very big challenges. It is always a problem to get producers for films of those genres that are not popular enough among the audience. And somehow I have not made entertainers before.
With Achin Pakhi, I have tried to venture into the mainstream side of filmmaking for the first time. The story is a plain and simple love story without any philosophical contents whatsoever. If the film brings me some commercial success, I might again think of making movies in this way.
Frankly speaking when I read something and try to make a film out of it, the imagaries that come to my mind in no way would contribute to a mainstream film. I honestly discuss it with my producers. I do not know much about distributions, either. Though I am trying to learn about it. In that way I can tell my producers how I want the films to be distributed and help them recoup the production cost.
Calcutta Tube: Are you going to make commercial movie now onwards?
Anjan Das: I might, though I am not fully sure of anything right now. My very next film, which will be a love story, is not going to be a mainstream film. The film will supposedly have different planes within. I am not sure again if it will be a commercial hit.
Calcutta Tube: Do you think that if some of your mainstream films give box-office hits, you will be getting more producers to make parallel films?
Anjan Das: When filmmakers make non-entertaining films, they do not always get the price they call for or promised, which itself is a big loss.
Whereas, when making commercial films, I get to work with the same producer if my previous film is a hit one. A commercial film also brings in some money to a director. In mainstream cinema, a director gets his/her share of remuneration, no matter what.
The money is important too because a filmmaker cannot survive just by making one Bengali film per year. So if Achin Pakhi gives good box-office, I might make entertaining and parallel films in combinations. It may be very blunt for me to make commercial films, but I may do it just for survival.
Calcutta Tube: Does it hurt you as a filmmaker when you have to comprise?
Anjan Das: Not really. When R. D. Bansal gave me the script, I told him that I will do the film in my way. If a script is commercially oriented, it is difficult to improvise and blend with my style. I have tried to do justice with my current film and keep my style intact at the same time.
[ReviewAZON asin=”B002SQJU1E” display=”inlinepost”]Calcutta Tube: Please tell us something about your cast of Achin Pakhi. Why did you choose Subrat Dutta and Manali Dey in lead roles?
Anjan Das: Subrat was the the fittest for the role of Achin, who is a servant and framed for a murder. Subrat’s looks, acting were just fine. He has done extremely well. Manali is a very good actress and quite popular too. This is another instance of commercialisation. My producer wanted Manali and I did not have anything to object. The character in the film needed a fresh look. Manali was the right person. She is young enough for the role of Pakhi. I watched some of her TV shows and I knew she could do what I wanted.
Calcutta Tube: Is there anything else you would like to share about Achin Pakhi?
Anjan Das: The story of Achin Pakhi takes place on the banks of a river. I am originally from Bangladesh and the nature there with its rivers, rain, storm, greenery is still so fresh in my mind. I opted for this movie because I wanted to use this river. It made me so happy.
Calcutta Tube: Please say something for the audience.
Anjan Das: I would request them to watch good films. I guess people would come to see Achin Pakhi as it is a commercial film with a great cast including Manali. But I would urge them to go further and try films of different genres. Every single movie does not always come out perfect, but the fact still remains that we are striving to make good films. I would request the audience to support our initiative.
Calcutta Tube: What other films you are working in right now?
Anjan Das: My next film is Banshiwala by Shirshendu Mukherjee. We are supposed to start working on it in April.
Calcutta Tube: What was your inspirations of filmmaking?
Anjan Das: I was mainly inspired by European films. When I watched films in the 70’s and 80’s the European films used a lot of metaphors and symbolism. We do not have things like that any more, though they are equally good. Films are more direct these days. However, I my self cannot forget it.
Interview by: Shrabanti Basu, CT Journalist