Interview: Anjan Dutta - "Ranjana Ami Aar Ashbo Na is my culmination of music-related films"

Hosted By Arijit Chakraborty
Picture by
Ranabir Mitra
Written By Supratim Sanyal

Actor, Singer, Song-writer, Composer and Film-Maker Anjan Dutta talks about his journey in creative and performing arts, his latest feature film  "Ranjana Ami Aar Ashbo Na" (Bengali, 2011) and his upcoming projects in this candid and informal audio interview.


Click on Play to listen to Anjan Dutta - WBRi On-Demand Audio Broadcast

Anjan Dutta - Ranjana Ami Aar Ashbo Na - Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie PosterWashington, DC, June 19, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Actor turned singer-composer and film-maker Anjan Dutta actually tried song-writing and singing many years after he commenced a career in acting with a preference for challenging roles in parallel / art-house films. He had let his creativity in writing songs and singing run free just to see what he could come up with for himself - becoming a phenomenally popular singer-songwriter is still one of the biggest unexpected surprises of his life !

As Anjan puts it, around the time he started experimenting as a singer-composer, one of his films would release around every couple of years, leaving a non-trivial amount of time for him to try music. This, combined with great inspiration from his close friend Suman Chattopadhyay (now Kabir Suman), drove him to release his first audio album titled "Shunte Ki chao" in 1994 - an instant super-hit and legendary album for a whole generation of youngsters which remains etched in the memory of millions of Bengalees, including the author of this post.


Ranjana Ami Aar Ashbo Na - Bengali Film Trailer

Shunte Ki Chao included the song 2441139 that was an anthem at a time where unemployment of the youth was rampant, a result of deeply flawed anti-industrialization and anti-globalization policies of a communist government in West Bengal. It also scored a first in Bengali music with the song "Haripada" which holds the record for the first sci-fi based Bengali song involving a spaceship landing on a roof in Kolkata and abducting Haripada - a stereotypical Calcutta mess resident barely trying to get by in a dilapidated environment with few opportunities.

The album also featured the song "Ranjana" rendered in first person dealing with teenage crush across a Hindi-Muslim divide.

"Shunte Ki Chao" was the only Bengali cassette that this author carried around with him with a rustic Aiwa-made personal cassette player across numerous journeys on a S-19 bus from Salt Lake to Jadavpur.

Ranjana has now returned in the form of Parno Mitra (interview), who Anjan Dutta located after a great search for a not-too-familiar talented actress and expresses confidence on (Raima Sen was also considered by Anjan for the role, but he was looking for a less familiar face). As Anjan puts it, there have been many films which portray ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary feats - Karate Kid, Million Dollar Baby, Rocky etc. come to mind - but there really have been no films, particularly in Bengali, which are similarly inspirational in the field of Music. Ranjana Ami Aar Ashbo Na is a story of handing over the baton of rock music from one generation to the next and the journey of an orphan girl from a small town realizing her dream of becoming a rock super-star.

Anjan describes Ranjana Ami Aar Ashbo Na as a film about a third of which is grounded in his real-life experiences. The movie also is the zenith of Anjan's journey in films that started with the spectacular "Bong Connection" - it is his biggest musical till date and his last one of the genre (he calls the film the first Bengali Rock-Musical). He says it would not be proper for him to make any more films around music, and he is shooting for a "serious action thriller" as his next film - a genre that he believes is somewhat lagging in Bengali cinema. Anjan is also commencing on his next Bomkesh Bakshi crime-mystery thriller film - a series of movies which have proven to be widely popular.

Ranjana Ami Aar Ashbo Na (www.ranjanaamiarashbona.com) is a "Bengali rock-musical" movie written and directed by Anjan Dutta, starring Anjan Dutta, Parno Mittra, Mamata Shankar, Amyt Datta, Nondon Bagchi, Lew Hilt, Ushasie Chakraborty and Kabir Suman. The film is produced by Rana Sarkar under the banner of DC Media. The release date of the film is June 24, 2011.

Here is wishing Anjan Dutta all the very best and looking forward to resounding success of RAAAN (all Anjan says is "I am hopeful") and his future projects that we all await eagerly.

Arijit Chakraborty is a singer, actor and elocutionist from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Supratim Sanyal is the founder, CEO and CTO of WBRi Inc., one of whose services is this online radio station and web portal.


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