Interview: Director Nandini Sharma on ‘Bangla Nache Bhangra’; New Bengali movie on Bong-Punjabi connection (WBRi Exclusive)

By Awrko Roy / WBRINN

Kolkata, August 21 (Washington Bangla Radio): “Bangla Nache Bhangra will make you feel the beat of bhangra in

Bengali style” says Nandini as WBRi correspondent Awrko Roy engages in a candid chat with the vibrant director who is gearing up for the release of her film  ‘Bhangra Nache Bhangra’

Awrko : Was there any particular event or time period which made you recognize that filmmaking is not just a hobby for you but it would become your full time job?

Nandini: After I passed out from college I joined print media and then slowly stepped into television. In this way I was connected to the media and had some exposure to the industry already. Nitish then decided to launch our production house and I became a part of Bangla Talkies by default from the very first day of its inception. Slowly we started taking some adventurous steps regarding the productions and thus we co-produced ‘Aamra’. Gradually I have been gathering the experience from our production projects. That’s how it began….That is the beginning of our journey into the film industry.

Awrko : How  the idea of Bangla Nache Bhangra came to you?

Nandini: Actually Bangla Nache Bhangra was Nitish’s dream project and when he finally decided to make it, he wanted only me to direct it.

Awrko : Bangla Nache Bhangra by its first look resembles the immortal Raj-Simran romance we have seen in DDLG. Is the film really inspired from DDLG?

new kolkata bangla movie

Nandini: (Smiles) Yes.. Sort of. You can say it is but these are very common names. If you take a look at five to six Bengali houses you will find Raj or Raja as a pet name and the same goes for Simran  in Punjabi families.

Awrko : Both Sayan and Pallavi are newcomers. How challenging was it handling two not so experienced actors   during the shoot?

Nandini: It was really challenging as none of them had ever thought of getting into movies, specially Sayan. Also at the last moment he was not confident but if you see him in the movie you will see him as a fine actor. Pallavi on the other hand had some exposure to street dramas in Delhi and that way I will say she was more street smart than Sayan.

She faced some difficulties due to the language bar. Then everyone in our team helped her and you will find her talking quite well in the film. You will see her as a non-Bengali girl who has an upbringing in Bengal and bit of Hindi accent will be accepted well

Awrko : For the first time in Bengali industry the Pakistani band Ragaboyz is being introduced – what made you take the call of doing that?

Nandini:  Its not for Ragaboyz, it’s for the sake of the film. We wanted Punjabi Sufi music for
the sequence of the film.  When we heard some Sufi songs from their kitty, we approached them for our film. They have worked hard to make the compositions of the track. They developed the lyrics and then the music and then a lot of changes were incorporated to what they had initially proposed (pause).. Its only for the music and that’s why they are here..(smiles).

Awrko : Tell us something more about the music of your film.

Nandini:  All the tracks are different from each other. We have not incorporated excessive use of songs. The songs will add proper justification to scenes and emotions. The songs hold the breath of my scenes. I think no one will feel the unnecessary addition of songs in the sequences which Indian films comprise of.

Awrko : Your film connets two communities- the sweet Bengalis and the rugged Punjabi’s.

Given the content of the film are you looking forward to introduce Bengali films into Punjabi market?

Nandini:  The Punjabi film market is huge abroad and they are really doing very, very well and have reached a level that Bengali films still have not. Bangla Nache Bhangra is basically a film that connects these two communities which matches quite a bit and also the differences are clear and everyone knows how opposites always attract.

Awrko :  The film looks fresh, vibrant and energetic and apart from these qualities what are the extra punches that you have added to treat the audience?

Nandini:  Thanks (smiles). Definitely comedy and that too served in both Bengali and Punjabi flavor. There are a handful of known actors in the movie like Rajesh Sharma, Kharaj Mukherjee, Partha Sarathi Chakraborty, Biswajit  Chakraborty who will be hilarious to watch. Besides them there are the actors who are new and have done a magnificent and marvelous job. Last but not least the chemistry between Sayan and Pallavi is something to watch out for.

Awrko : How was the first time experience of direction?

Nandini:  Just Superb.

Awrko :  What kind of films do you want to make?

Nandini:  Definitely Romantic movies

Awrko : In such competitive Bengali film market, how can you rate Bangla Nache Bhangra’s success?

Nandini:  Commercial Success is not in our hand, its all in the hand of audience. They will decide the fate. We can only work harder and that too with honesty.

Awrko :  If you would have directed this same film under a different banner then would the outcome be the  same as it is now?

Nandini:  May be in matter of creative control I would have faced some restrictions depending on the call of the producers.    

Awrko :  What makes  this film special to you?

Nandini:  This is my debut film as a director and debut is always special.  The film is a result of hard work and it will always be special for the dedication involved.

Awrko : Tell us something that is extraordinary about Bangla Nache Bhangra.

Nandini:  Bangla Nache Bhangra is just like a new born baby to me and the overall process of its upbringing is really interesting. This is a differently treated film something which Bengali audiences are not accustomed with. A film made with a lovely and supportive crew who gave their best performances. Bangla Nache Bhangra will make you feel the beat of bhangra in Bengali style. A sweet Bengali-Punjabi love story for Raj and Simran is waiting for you at your nearest theatres on August 23rd.

Awrko: What are the words that you want to say to the world about Bangla Nache Bhangra?

Nandini:  Come, watch, enjoy and spread the word to the world.