After Sujoy Ghosh’s thumping hit Kahaani, actor-director Parambrato Chatterjee is in seventh heaven. But he is no less thrilled by the stupendous success of Anik Dutta’s maiden film Bhooter Bhabisyat. The film has been acquired by Databazaar Media for streaming, distribution, netcasting and DVD across North America and Canada. Databazaar has in the last two years, emerged as one of the most outstanding Diaspora identities in perpetuating and popularizing contemporary Bengali cinema beyond Indian shores in a big way.
How did you enjoy your work in Bhooter Bhabisyat?
I loved it because, being an actor-director myself, though I do not act in the films I direct, I could identify with the character quite closely. The other point of attraction for me was that I was among the very few ‘live’ characters in the film filled with around ten ghosts. Anik-da was strict but was extremely focussed and knew exactly what he wanted out of his actors.
Are you the director’s alter-ego in the film?
Could be and could not be too. I play a filmmaker making his first feature film and scouting around for an old, heritage mansion where he wants to shoot his first film. He is a hep director who carries everything in his laptop but relies more on his brain power than machine power. When he arrives at the mansion, he is fascinated by the interiors and the general setting. But his script is turned over its head when someone from inside the mansion suddenly appears before him and begins to narrate a strange story.
Do you interact with the ghosts in the film?
Only one – the narrator of the story. But I do not learn that he is a ghost till the end. It gave me the wonderful opportunity to interact with Benu-da (Sabyasachi Chakraborty) for a major portion of my footage. I actually get to see the entire clan of ghosts when they appear in the end as soon as the Naxalite ghost (Sabyasachi) claps and calls them. It was fascinating, really.
Your films are almost getting back-to-back releases. Is it a happy thing for you?
Of course, it is an exhilarating experience. Rana, the character I portrayed in Kahani was very different from the ones I had done before. I am not slotted into the typical romantic hero slot so this helps me land all kinds of roles under different directors. I am now very excited about the impending release of Teen Yari Katha which is a film much ahead of its time and it made a statement on male bonding never made in Indian cinema before. I am also excited about Hemlock directed by Srijit Mukherjee and I consider it my best role in films till date. Other wonderful films I am looking forward to are Mainak Bhaumik’s Maach Mishti and More and Ekla Akash, a telefilm.
How was your experience in the UK where he went on a British Council scholarship?
It has made me a different person altogether. It was an extremely enriching experience for me as a human being more than as a person who had gone to study filmmaking. Ultimately, a film is about the story that it tells, the characters who inhabit the story and the audience that can identify with the characters and their experiences. Technological differences may be there from one culture to another, or, from one school of filmmaking to another. But the common thread that binds good cinema across the place is all about storytelling.