February 6, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Paoli Dam has made her screen presence strongly felt in off-mainstream cinema though she made a rather non-descript beginning with mainstream cinema. Over the past year, her films Thana Thekey Aaschhi and Tara have attracted the attention of audience and directors. But it has been Moner Manush that has catapulted her into the top bracket as an actress to reckon with. Her current release Takhan Teish, is pulling in the audience in droves while her next film Kagojer Bou is about to be released. What is her role in Takhan Teish? Let us hear it directly from Paoli, the dusky beauty with lots of talent and little inhibitions.
What character have you played in Takhan Teish?
I play a complex character that has many faces and also has a past, a present and a future that intercut into each other over the film’s 48-hour time-span. As Mohini, she sizzles in skimpy costumes on the screen in the film clips within the larger film. As Shampa Dasgupta, I wear a bitter face, cynical about life, hating men around her, seething with anger with thoughts that she has been exploited and victimised. But slowly there is a transformation. This forms the third dimension of her personality. I found it extremely fascinating as it was realistic with touches of the surrealism.
[ReviewAZON asin=”B003Y3X08O” display=”inlinepost”]What kind of actress are you?
I am a blend of a director’s actress and a natural actress aspiring for perfection all the time. I often put in my own suggestions about any role. Atanu had described the character to me in detail. She is not a girl one finds next door or meets everyday on the streets. I enjoyed this film very much.
What about your role in Bappaditya Bandopadhyay’s Kagojer Bou?
It is a very modem, sophisticated and hep character I play in the film. She was ordinary to begin with but becomes quite fashionable girl who maintains herself and carries herself with confidence. Bappaditya Bandopadhyay is a very cool director who allowed me to interpret the character in my own way. He works without any script at all.
Tell us about some of your other important films.
I have worked in two films directed by Goutam Ghose, Kaalbela and Moner Manush. The former was a powerful story of a strong woman. The second was a different cup of tea altogether. It was a gruelling exercise in training, practicing, acting, dancing in harmony with the vagaries of Nature. I also enjoyed Thana Theke Aaschi in which I did not have a single dialogue but a very powerful central role. I had a very brief appearance in Shob Choritro Kalponik which I liked very much. Vimukthi Jayasundara, the young Sri Lankan director’s Mushroom in Bengali is a favourite film of mine. It has not been released yet. Anindo De’s Udo Choti Super is another film I am looking forward to. I play a girl who is married young, loses her husband in an accident and files charges against the bus owner for compensation. The owner hides the bus. My latest release in Anup Sengupta’s potboiler Bangla Bachao opposite Prosenjit which I hope hits the charts.
So, there has been a lot of variety within the brief span of your career that is just looking up.
That’s right. I have played and am still playing a variety of characters in different kinds of films by different filmmakers and varied banners. What more can one ask for at this stage of one’s career?
Shoma A. Chatterji