Interview: Writer Malay Bandopadhyay talks about Bengali films Paribartan, Piriti Kathaler Atha, Kache Acho Tumi, Dujone & more


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[Malay Bandopadhyay]Washington, DC, Feb 25, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Malay Bandopadhyay is an accomplished story, screenplay, script and dialog writer with the Tollywood Bengali film and Television world. At the time of this interview, he has already written 12 Bengali feature film scripts, 62 TV items and 4 documentories as well as a considerable volume of research work. Malay's latest film Piriti Kanthaler Atha released recently in theaters in Kolkata and is directed by Reshmi Mitra. The film has newcomers Saurav and Riddhima playing the lead pair. Malay's next film, titled Paribartan, stars actress Satabdi Roy; the film is somewhat controversial given the present political climate of West Bengal and is awaiting clearance from the government-controlled censor board of India. (Unfortunately in India, the government decides what the public should and should not watch!)

Malay talks in depth about Piriti Kathaler Atha. The film was made with a social message and the responsibility of film as a powerful medium in mind. As Malay describes it from his unique perspective of the writer of the story, screenplay and dialogue for the film, Piriti Kanthaler Aatha is in some ways a lost-and-found story, but with an experimental element to it. A young pair of lovers lose each other, and much later, old relationships are rediscovered and revived - but the film is far removed from a typical lost-love affair and stresses on love's everlasting beauty. The film portrays a poor cobbler's son and a girl from a privileged family drawn to one another when young, with society coming in and pretty much destroying the poor cobbler's son. As Malay puts it, subsequent events that happen on the silver screen are, to some extent, an experiment to see if the audience can guess whether it is the same boy and girl who are re-united later on.

Malay debuted in feature films with resounding success with his friend Rajib Kumar in the director's chair with the blockbuster Dujone (2009) which starred Dev and Srabanti as the lead pair. Dujone was the directorial debut in feature films for Rajib as well. In this informal chit-chat with Arijit Chakraborty, Malay reveals quite a few interesting trivia, inlcuding the fact that one of today's leading Tollywood heroines - Srabanti - actually is his student and Malay was a private tutor of the actress!

Malay's last film Kache Acho Tumi (2010) stood out for it's original story and fresh script. The film starred Jishu, Swastika and newcomers Rohan and Parijat.

Talking about his emergence as a writer, Malay tells us how he aspired to write stories, screenplays and dialog for films from childhood. As a kid, he would scribble his name as the writer of imaginary films as part of the credits. Growing up in an environment where the pressure to succeed in academics was of paramount importance to parents, cinema considered an unwanted diversion, Malay's father told him that just scribbling his name on imaginary films would not suffice - Malay would have to strive to turn his dreams into reality.

As he grew older, Malay wrote a substantial number of scripts for stage theater, followed after a gap of a few years with writing spectacularly successful television shows.

Though Dujone was a spectacular commercial success, Malay and Rajib had worked previously on a six-episode television show titled "Shom Theke Shoni" aired on Akash Bangla TV Channel in 2006 - a production that Malay says he is extremely fond of, especially because the original series was conceptualized completely by Rajib and Malay. Som Theke Shoni was a great hit, and Malay says that's what gave him and Rajib the confidence to try a full-length feature film.

We wish Malay the very best and still higher success in the coming days.