Meet Parno Mitra. She is the sultry, dusky, attractive young girl who has given concrete shape to Anjan Dutt’s abstract Ranjana of 1994 in Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbona a famous song composed, written and sung by Anjan Dutt. Parno, who was a familiar face on Bengali television till recently, has cracked the large screen magic with her stellar performance in Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbona. What has her experience been like?
What kind of homework did you have to do for Ranjana?
I had to do two things very seriously. One is to learn the guitar well enough to be able to strum it for the three songs I sing in the film. The other was a workshop done with Anjan-da particularly with some of our close scenes in the film so that we warmed up by the time the shoot began. Both these things went on concurrently for one-and-a-half month. My comfort levels with Anjan-da were quite good because we have known each other since the time I worked in his telefilm Lolita some time ago. I had to learn to play an acoustic guitar and the entire process of strumming had to be gone through. Anjan-da took care of the acting workshop while his son Neil who is the music director, taught me to play the guitar.
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[ReviewAZON asin=”B004IURTY8″ display=”inlinepost”]Did you allow you to interpret the role or did you give you rigid, specific directorial instructions?
He told me what the character was about in detail and this helped me visualize and give me a clear vision of the character I play in the film – Ranjana. I knew what he was looking for and what he wanted. He gave me directions and suggestions for the more important scenes I had with him and how to work them out. For me, it was entirely a learning process from beginning to end.
You are almost the only very young character in the film. Ranjana is surrounded by men old enough to be her father – I mean they are really much older than you. Was it boring? Or was it quite good?
It was great fun, honestly. All of them are dynamic and lead as active lives as we youngsters do. So they are quite chilled out and fun to be with. An advantage of their age is that they were full of nostalgia – remembering their old times, their long journey through music I did not know much about and it was quite enlightening and enriching for me. Lew Hilt for example, was nicknamed Golpo Dadu by all of us because he had a bag full of stories to narrate and did it all the time during breaks in the shoot when the lighting was being adjusted and so on.
Ranjana’s is a music-minded character? How did you internalize the music in her?
I love music and love listening to music. I liked to remain present whenever I could, when Somlata who gave voice to Ranjana’s lip-sync, was rehearsing or recording. Neil Dutt who has done the music educated me some. It was not very difficult but I learnt a lot along the way.
What role are you playing in Moinak Bhowmik’s Bedroom produced again by Rana Sarkar?
It’s a very interesting role. I play a grumpy fashion photographer named Ritika who has no motivation in life and is always unhappy and pulls a long face. Rahul Banerjee is playing my romantic interest in the film.
What about television?
I have stopped all work on television at this point of time. About the future, who can tell?
-Shoma A. Chatterji