His latest film Aschhe Abar Shabor opened on 19 January, where Saswata Chatterjee reprises his role as the crack cop from the Kolkata Police detective department. In an exclusive interview with RBN, the actor talks about the film, and the role which he has since perfected.
What can the audience expect from the film?
Aschhe Abar Shabor is more intense than the earlier films in the franchise. The crime is more complex and dark this time. It’s about a serial killing across multiple cities, and Shabor has to rake his brains harder to hunt down the culprit. His approach to solve the crime is more serious, and that is evident from the scene where he tells a badly beaten character played by Indraneil (Sengupta), “There’s no place left where I can hit you, so don’t take it as an opportunity.” This is the sharpest Shabor in the series.
How do you manage to repeat a blunt no-nonsense cop in every film of the series?
The character has been written that way and once you get under the skin, it’s not difficult to repeat yourself in successive films. The first film, of course, is always a challenge where you are completely new to the role.
What are your personal expectations from the film?
Shabor has already been accepted by the audience, courtesy the two earlier films, and I personally have no doubts about the success of this one. That aside, Aschhe Abar Shabor has been released at a very good time of the year when the weather is pleasant and conducive to film-going. And what better if you can serve a gripping thriller to the audience?
Shabor is more foodie this time
Yes (smiles). When the city is Lucknow, and the kebab Galouti, you really can’t avoid showing that on screen. You can almost smell it in Aschhe Abar Shabor.
And your food escapades in the city?
We used to explore Lucknow ever day, more in the kitchens that is, to find their signature food. Tasting a particular food often ended in eating that entirely. Besides Lucknow, the film was shot in Kolkata and Chandannagar.
How difficult it is to draw both the class and the mass to a film?
Well, to be honest, there’s nothing called a class or mass. These are fancy words that cropped up when films began to be classified as urban and rural. None ever bothered whether the Suchitra-Uttam films were watched by the class or the mass. To me it’s all about good films and bad films. Trust me, there are people in the villages who can teach you a lesson or two on life’s motives, and you will begin to feel useless about your urban existence.
Tell us about the film’s music
More than the music, a collage of sounds has been used in the film which heightens the suspense. Sounds that we don’t get to hear often, for instance a vinyl disc stopping abruptly while playing, have been used. The soundscape of the film has been intricately designed. The music by Bickram Ghosh is undeniably a high point of the entire series, and often takes the film forward in scenes that have no dialogues, like it should be in any murder mystery.
Your take on Arindam Sil as a director
The more I work with him, the more the interest to become a director myself grows. And that’s not without a reason. I will cast Arindam in my film and make him run across the country, like what he did to me.
And your experience of working with new actors?
Oh they are thorough professionals both regarding their career and their image. They are always fit and agile, at least much more than me (laughs). It’s a pleasure to work with them. More than anything else, it’s always a learning experience for both them and us, when actors cutting across generations are part of a project and you connect at a cerebral level.
So when is Saswata hitting the gym?
Never (laughs). I would rather (try) to cut down on food, though I am not sure about my success.