A Girl Called Rachita - The Actress Debuts in Bengali Film with CHAPLIN (2011) | Interview

By Shoma A. Chatterji

Editor's note: The award-winning writer chats with Rachita in this interview. You might also remember our exclusive audio interview broadcast with actress Rachita Chauhan née Bhattacharya which you can listen to on-line on-demand here.

Chaplin bengali movie: Rudranil, Soham, Rachita
Rudranil, Soham, Rachita in Chaplin - image (C) WBRi

Calcutta, Aug 9, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Databazaar Media Ventures) Anindo Banerjee’s (interview) Chaplin has introduced a beautiful new face named Rachita. Unlike popular expectations, the character she portrays has no romantic angle  linked to the character of Bangshi Das, the protagonist of the film. Then what is she playing? Why not hear it from Rachita herself?

Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie Actress RACHITA BHATTACHARYA CHAUHAN (URO CHITHI)
Actress Rachita Chauhan (Bhattacharya)

“I play a character called Reena, affluent, successful, engaged to be married to an up market young man. She gets involved with Bangshi and his art in a rather unusual way. Reena has a humane streak. She has her heart in the right place. Apart from her professional and personal life, she has feelings for the underprivileged and the marginalized. She gets to know Nimua, Bangshi’s son in the classes she runs for street children. She gets close to this little bright boy and through him, she meets Bangshi. That is how the character spreads out in the narrative,” explains Rachita.

Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie Actress RACHITA BHATTACHARYA CHAUHAN (URO CHITHI)
Actress Rachita Chauhan (Bhattacharya)

Rachita at Chaplin Press Conference Picture (C) WBRi
Rachita at Chaplin Press Conference

How did she get into this film in the first place considering she was working in Mumbai at the time? “I was flitting between Mumbai and Delhi but had come to Kolkata for a while. Rudraneel met me at a party and asked me if I would be interested in playing a role in the film though it would not be the female lead as there is no female lead. I met the director and I was roped into the cast,” says this intelligent woman who has worked with the noted writer William Dalrymple for some time in Delhi.

How did the switch from behind the camera to its front happen? “The switch was never planned. I have been an assistant director for long and offers to act just came my way. I have assisted Avik Mukhopadhyay for his Hindi film Bhoomi and director Arindam Sarkar for Via Darjeeling. Both Chaplin and Yeh Faasley came to me by sheer luck. I went along with the flow. They are all aspects of the creative medium of film making so I took it as a mode to learn more about films. Today I know what limitations and psychological factors an actor faces.”

Is she happy to be a part of Bengali cinema now that she has also done a guest appearance in the multi-starrer Uro Chithi? “Bengali cinema always been rich in content. There is a revival happening in Bengali cinema right now and I feel privileged to be a part of it. I am a Bengali by birth. It is natural for me to be inclined towards Bengali cinema,” says Rachita.

She has analyzed the character of Reena deeply and feels “the girl had a natural pull towards underprivileged people in general and children in particular because she discovers in them a naïveté, a steak of innocence, a basic simplicity she does not find in people of the social class she herself belongs to. She actually becomes a catalytic agent to tap the talent of Bangshi Das finally so that he gets noticed. But I do not want to dwell on it anymore as that will be giving the story away,” she sums up.

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