Raima Sen on ‘Memories In March’ (Interview)

Raima SenApril 22, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Raima Sen, the beautiful older grand-daughter of legendary Suchitra Sen is doing great in select films, choice roles in Bengali cinema. Dressed in a shimmering black gown for the press do of Memories in March, with a plunging neckline, the talented actress made one wonder what keeps her slotted mainly in exclusive films even in Mumbai. The warm and no-airs-actress opens up about her pet likes and dislikes in a quickie interview.

Did you enjoy the character of Sahana in Memories in March?
I liked the whole film and not just the character I portrayed. It is not a very big role footage wise but in terms of the script, it is important because my character happens to be one of the two friends of Siddharth through who his mother Arti Mishra leans a lot about her dead son. I was very happy working with Sanjoy as director because though this was his first film as director, I found it quite easy to work with. He believes in being as natural as one can and that helped me a lot.

Do you believe in workshops before shooting begins?
I leave it to the director. Some directors do not need workshops like Sanjoy did not ask for a workshop for Memories in March. Rituda (Rituparno Ghosh) also does not ask for workshops so there were none for Noukodubi. But I attended workshops for Baishey Srabon directed by Srijit Mukherjee, for Amit Sen for Natobar Not Out. But the most gruelling and back-breaking workshop I took part in was for Aparna Sen’s The Japanese Wife. I am very good at switch-on-switch-off characters. For Memories in March, the only homework we did was sitting down and reading the script again and again.

[ReviewAZON asin=”B004TBWO50″ display=”inlinepost”]Are you happy about Databazaar Media Ventures taking on Memories in March for North American and Canadian distribution so that NRIs can reach out and watch the film on DVD, through streamlining sites on the NET, in small theatres, etc?
They also acquired my other film Natobar Not Out and I am very confident that this will take contemporary Bengali cinema miles ahead within a short time. Our work gets judged by a wider audience on a different cultural platform and that is a challenge for every filmmaker, actor and technician. I am really happy about this acquisition of Memories in March and the fact that the film released internationally on the same day it was premiered in India marks a milestone and Databazaar Media Ventures is a part of this growing map.

What kind of actress are you?
I am a director’s actress. Period. I bloom under a good director. In my opinion, I believe that even one is a method actor and has learnt to act in a film school, you must have something within you to be able to act. Not anyone and everyone can do it. You either have it in you to act or you don’t. You create your own ‘method’ over a period of time, stylize yourself, define your emotions within you to be drawn upon as and when needs be.

What of yours can we expect to see soon?
Well, not too many but I am happy with the films. In Hindi, there is Tanuja Chandra’s Raakh, a supernatural thriller with Rajeev Khandelwal. In Bengali, my Noukodubi is slated for release on May 6, then there is Baishey Srabon and Obosheshey which has Roopa Ganguly and Ankur Khanna. Noukudubi is based on a Tagore classic that has had several earlier versions and for the first time, I am sharing the credits with my sister Ria. Baishey Srabon has Prosenjit in an unusual role. But I do not have any romantic pairing with him in the film.

Would you like to pick your personal favourites?
My personal favourites are – Chokher Bali, The Japanese Wife, Nishijapon, Anuranan, Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd, Khela and Noukodubi. Though my voice was dubbed for Chokher Bali, I have no complaints.

– Shoma A. Chatterji

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