Interview: Actress Kanchana Moitra talks about Bye Bye Bangkok, Accident and her Tollywood Kolkata Bengali films


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Actress Kanchana MoitraGermantown, Maryland, Jan 12, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Arijit Chakraborty caught up with actress Kanchana Moitra in Kolkata while she was actually going to work. Kanchana speaks with us after pulling into a gas station and you will hear the lovely sonic ambiance of Kolkata city in the background while Arijit and Kanchana talk about Kanchana's background and career in film.

Kanchana started modeling when she was sixteen, appearing in the acclaimed SANANDA woman's magazine edited by Aparna Sen, and subsequently in a host of fashion events and shows, walking down the ramps for some of the best designers in Indian fashion. Not complacent with her early success as a fashion model, Kanchana felt an urge to try different things - but acting was not initially in the list of things she wanted to try, not being sure of herself in front of a camera.

Eventually, she gave up modeling in the interest of concentrating on her college degree, after which Kanchana, encouraged by her friends and loved ones, took up the role of anchoring the popular television show Shrimati dealing with women's issues, and then a major role in the Bengali TV Mega Serial Poush Faguner Pala. She was selected for the serial Mallika on ETV Bangla as well - and in spite of less-than-encouraging remarks by director Goutam Sen (which only reinforced her determination to succeed as an actress), went on to bigger things as a heroine in the Tollywood Bengali film industry.

The story of Kanchana's participation in Aniket Chattopadhyay's comedy film Bye Bye Bangkok as one of the lead actresses is itself fun-filled. The producer of Bye Bye Bangkok, Kaustuv Roy, is a common friend of Kanchana and the cast and crew of the film. Just prior to Bye Bye Bangkok went to the floors, Kaustuv Roy was in Bangkok for the Bengali Film Awards event (where Aniket Chattopadhyay's debut feature film CHA-E-CHUTI [buy Bengali movie DVD in USA] picked up two awards - best experimental film and best comedy role for actor-singer-composer Kharaj Mukherjee). Since a lot of Kaustuv's friends could not attend the event, they decided to spend a vacation together in Bangkok. The vacation turned into the idea of a telefilm, and the idea of the telefilm turned into Bye Bye Bangkok - literally in the span of a couple of days. Kanchana was actually in the middle of shooting for a show on KOLKATA TV (Aniket Chattopadhyay is the news editor of the private TV channel) when Aniket-da broke the news of Bye Bye Bangkok to Kanchana.

Bye Bye Bangkok is a comedy involving five married couples, who are past - in Aniketda's words - honey and moon, all coincidentally being present in Bangkok at the same time. Kanchana's character is the wife of actor Kanchan's character (who, as Aniket-da has said, will appear in a strong character actor's role transcending his familiar comedian image). The various undercurrents of extra-marital attractions and affairs result in a hilarious series of situations. Bye Bye Bangkok does not attempt moral preaching, though Aniket Chattopadhyay's script will surely have a subtle but unmistakable message for the increasing number of families who are losing the ability to lead happily married lives.

Kanchana is appearing in the Bengali Movie ACCIDENT which is complete and awaiting release. ACCIDENT is a serious film about the nightmarish traffic situation of Kolkata. Unlike developed countries, in vehicle collisions with pedestrians in Kolkata drivers tend to be automatically blamed with no regard to the pedestrians lack of following rules against jaywalking. ACCIDENT tries to highlight the responsibility of pedestrians in sharing the blame for accidents. In ACCIDENT, actor Rudranil Ghosh (interview) appears as a bus driver and Kanchana as his wife.