Interview of the month    

His latest film has hit the theatres and the response in encouraging. Anjan Dutt is back doing what he does best: make films. Following a brief sabbatical after the box office disaster of Ganesh Talkies, the ace filmmaker has roped in mainstream star Subhasree Ganguly for his Sesh Bole Kichu Nei (SBKN). Anjan speaks to RBN about the film and his leading lady. 

On casting Subhasree: I hadn’t seen any of her films. I saw her only on billboards and TV. Jeet showed me one of her songs, Mon majhi re, from Boss. She has risen swiftly and I am sure she’s capable of doing much better. My producer suggested taking her because Koel would look much older for the role. We read out the script to her and she agreed instantly.  

On Subhasree’s performance in SBKN: She was entirely Koko, the character she plays in the film, during the 12-14 days of her shoot. She was nervous initially and thought me to be a tough taskmaster. On the first day of the acting workshop, I gave her enough confidence. She asked me about what I thought about the character. I gave my inputs and she connected instantly. 

On the challenges after two back to back box office duds: I was upset with the failure of Dutt vs Dutt. So I decided to reach out to a more suburban audience with Ganesh Talkies. The audience rejected it. I decided to introspect and returned to my personal space. SBKN, in a way, reminds you of Bow Barracks Forever but a few steps ahead. I wanted to make a film in line with international films that I have been watching.     

On the social message in SBKN: The film is about drugs but not only drugs. Musicians, engineering and medical students, strugglers, all take drugs. The clever ones move ahead. People who can’t fight the odds, often take to drugs. Failures don’t mean you resort to drugs. I suffered two consecutive flops but I still went to make the next film. I have tried to dissuade people from taking drugs and look at the positive sides. At the same time, the film is not preachy.  

On female adoration: Somehow an idea has stuck through that I have many girlfriends. This is not true. Flirting or having an affair has got nothing to do. I have nothing to hide about my relationship with Moon Moon Sen, Churni Ganguly, Parno Mittra, Aparna Sen or even Subhasree. I enjoy a solid friendship with all these lovely women. Sometimes I am like a father or an elder brother. But I am a largely a friend.

On the journey so far: It has been very long. I started as an actor of arthouse cinema. Then I became a singer and finally a film noir director. My cinema is not like that of Mrinal Sen. It’s not that I am incapable to make his type of films but I don’t want to be restricted to an international or festival-type audience. I want to make sensible films that can connect with a larger audience. So I made Bow Barracks Forever, Bong Connection, Madly Bangalee, Ranjana Ami Aar Asbona. Dutt vs Dutt, however, was too much a personal film.

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