April 8 (Calcutta Tube): Subrat Dutta, the versatile actor of who works simultaneously in the Bollywood and the Bengali film industry shares his experience working with Bollywood filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma in his upcoming movie Rakta Charitra. Read the interview exclusive at CalcuttaTube.
CalcuttaTube: You are working in Ram Gopal Varma’s Rakta Charitra. Is the shooting complete?
Subrat Dutta: I am currently shooting for the Sony TV serial Powder. I will join the Rakta Charitra team in the middle of April for my second schedule which will go on till the first week of May. I am already done with the first schedule of the film that was shot at the Ramoji Film City. The film is supposed to complete its entire shooting by the middle of May.
Rakta Charitra is a trilingual film. I am giving shots in both Hindi and Telugu. There are two teachers on the sets from whom I am learning Telugu. It is quite an experience. However, I do not have to do speak Tamil. Someone will dub it for me.
The most exciting thing about being an actor is that we get to learn so many new things. Since I am originally from Bankura, I ha
ve already gone through a lot of metamorphosis with my linguistics. I had to learn Bengali the way spoken in Kolkata and then I learnt Hindi when I was in Delhi. Later I got acquainted with Marathi in Mumbai, though I cannot speak the language yet. Now it is time to learn Telugu. I start my lessons every evening around seven, right after I am done with the shooting and strive with it till two-three in the morning!
CalcuttaTube: This is your first movie with Ram Gopal Varma. How does it feel working with a filmmaker of his stature?
Subrat Dutta: I have previously got chances to work with Ram Gopal Varma’s assistant director or in projects done by his company. But somehow I felt that I should wait for something more, since Ram Gopal Varma is such a great director who has contributed so much to the Indian cinema. I waited for eight years before I got this opportunity. I do not know if this will lead me to further projects in future, but as far as the shooting of Rakta Charitra is concerned, I am enjoying a lot.
Ram Gopal Varma is fully loaded with talent and I am learning so much during shooting, on the sets. Ram Gopal Varma ‘is man of 24 into 7’. He always comes to the sets before the scheduled time and is into full action all through this time- going through the lyrics, songs, discussing the characters with actors, maybe checking on the upcoming projects.
Even during breaks or after shoots, he would engage in discussions on cinema. I have not seen many dedicated artists as he is. Ram Gopal Varma is a persona who you cannot judge just only by his movies. I initially had a 18-day shoot in the film which got extended to 45 days. And even after all this, it may as well happen that my portions get edited and I do not appear in the film at all. But that does not worry me.
The most important aspect of the whole thing is that Ram Gopal Varma does not get confined to anything. He is a person who is always experimenting with so many different things. He has enriched the Indian cinema with his innovations. He has experimented with various genres, made high-budget films as well as low budget ones, worked with mega stars and newcomers, and made films like Shiva and Agyaat that are astoundingly contrasting.
As an audience I am eagerly waiting for the film Rakta Charitra.
CalcuttaTube: Please tell us something about your character in Rakta Charitra.
Subrat Dutta: I am the playing the character called AK, short for King Of Anandpur. All the characters in the film are based on real life some of whom are still living and some are deceased. The film shows the conflict between two political parties. AK is a Naxalite leader from Anandpur, who is currently underground. It is a political drama full of gory and revenge. My character is supposed to be seen all throughout the film. However, I cannot say a whole lot about it right now.
CalcuttaTube: What other regional are you working in right now?
Subrat Dutta: I have started working in a forthcoming Bengali movie ‘Blind Lane’ by Amitabha Dasgupta. The story is about a terrorist movement in North Bengal. I have done a song and some scenes and would complete filming it in May.
CalcuttaTube: What other regional movies have you worked in?
Subrat Dutta: I have worked in a couple of Bhojpuri movies – Tujhse Laagi Lagan, Pistol-Ego Prem Kahani.
CalcuttaTube: So, did you learn Bhojpuri too?
Subrat Dutta: I sure did. I think Bhojpuri is much easier to learn than Telugu.
CalcuttaTube: Since you have worked both in the Bollywood and the Kolkata film industry please tell us the relative position of Bengali cinema in respect to the Indian Cinema and Bollywood.
Subrat Dutta: I cannot really do this comparison as I am not much aware of the South Indian film industry. Right now I am getting introduced to Telugu cinema, but I am so much unaware of Kannada movies.
Interview by Calcutta Tube Journalis Shrabanti Basu