Interview: Director Premangshu Roy on Bengali Movie "Katakuti" (2011) - A Game Of Relationships

The following is a sponsored article from Databazaar Media Ventures.

By Shoma A. Chatterji

A Working Still from Kolkata Bengali Movie

Calcutta, Dec 7, 2011 (Databazaar Media Ventures) Katakuti – A Game of Relationships is a Bengali film directed by debut-making director Premangshu Roy. He is basically from theatre but has been toying with the idea of directing a feature film on an offbeat subject without surrendering the commercial viability of the project. Katakuti has been acquired by Databazaar Media for DVD  and streaming through its wide network. Looking at the unusual subject, Katakuti – A Game of Relationships is likely to strike at the emotions of the NRI Bengali audience across North America and Canada. Premangshu airs his thoughts.

What made you choose the game of noughts and crosses – Katakuti in Bengali, as the title of your film?

It is there in the full title – Katakuti – A Game of Relationships. We used to play ‘Noughts and Crosses’ as kids. It is a mainly a game of chance. I drew parallels from this game to apply it to human inter-relationships in contemporary society. I penned the story and wrote the script myself. The volatile world of relationships, our interpretations of people obsessed with something or someone, comes out in the film.

You seem to have been motivated to use a mental hospital as a parallel backdrop of the film juxtaposing it against the mainstream. Why?

I have tried to raise the question of ‘who is sane?’ repeatedly through the film. In the normal world, my observations show that we tend to label those people as insane who are madly in love with something or someone or some place, etc. But these are people who truly understand the meaning of what loving something or someone completely really means. Mainstream people arbitrarily decide that they have gone over the edge. But that is because people like you and me who live in the mainstream, have lost the meaning and value of love. This is the subtle message I have tried to bring out in the film.

You have drawn you cast from a multitude of artists – classic actors like Manoj Mitra and Dwijen Banerjee; established actors like Rahul, Sreelekha, Jaya Seal Ghosh, Rupanjana, noted celebrities from music like Silajit and Nachiketa and strapping young starlets like Malobika Mukherjee and Sankalita Roy. What made you bring about this melting pot?

While I was writing the script, perceptions on what my characters should look like. I also based my casting on my knowledge about their ability to portray and sustain the characters they would be given. I am happy to state that they have done extremely well indeed.

What kind of preparation did you work on with your acting cast?

I believe that direction should be preceded by a workshop that should follow script reading sessions with the actors. I did this for my first film and the results are there for the audience to see. But when we begin to shoot, I allow a lot of discussion and suggestion though I am rigid about the framework I have chalked out for each character.

Let’s hear something about the music and the songs in the film.

Nachiketa has done the lyrics, the music and has belted five songs for the music track. I have made him appear in the film as a metaphor for the conscience of the mainstream people who are trapped in conflicts within their respective families. There is a part of a Tagore song lip-synched by Jaya. The songs, specially the title track, are awesome. It is the theme song of the film.

Are you happy that your very first directorial effort in films has been acquired by Databazaar Media for DVD and streaming across North America and Canada?

‘Happy’ is an understatement. I am thrilled!

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