Interview: Indraneil Sengupta on Bengali Commercial, Parallel and Crossover Films, Goenda Gogol, Koel Mullick, Dashami and more

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Indraneil Sengupta, Koel Mullick and Locket ChatterjeeWashington, DC, September 17, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) Actor Indraneil Sengupta did not make a conscious decision to perform roles of any particular category. He is open to trying and giving his best in arty character roles to dancing fighting commercial action hero and everything in between. It is no surprise, then, that after acclaimed stints in a string of serious movies (Uro Chithi comes to mind among his recent stellar performances), Indraneil was excited to play an action hero in Riingo Banerjee's "System" - a film which exposes the criminal underbelly of the city of Calcutta. In this candid interview with WBRi's Sayantanee Dutt, Indraneil starts off by revealing that he is a big fan of action movies himself and a role like he did in "System" is one he was waiting for.

Progressing to the Bengali film industry, it is Indraneil's perspective that, unfortunately, the demarcation of commercial, parallel/art-house and crossover films is still very pronounced in Tollywood. Bollywood has matured to a level where such categorization is hard to make in Hindi films - Indraneil correctly cites Barfi which is not a formula film but still a commercial block-buster which performed at the box office at the same level as traditional commercial flicks like Rowdy Rathore and Ready. However, in Bengal, it is still fairly obvious that, for example, Rituparno Ghosh, Srijit Mukherjee and Raj Chakraborty make different kinds of films for different target audiences.

Coming to his latest film "Dashami", Indraneil (seen with Koel Mullick and Locket Chatterjee in a picture from the music release) describes the film as a very simple linear love story without much of intellectual baggage in it. In Doshomi, Indraneil plays Abhi, a popular and helpful young man loved by all ("the heart-throb of the community") who lives in a typical North Calcutta neighborhood. Avi, however, is a man of limited means and earns his living of a little cybercafe he runs. He also does not have much of an education.

Tuli (Koel Mullick) is from the same neighborhood as Abhi, but had left for foreign lands with her parents. An accomplished student and with refined tastes and intellectualism, Tuli seems out of reach of Avi who has romantic feelings for the beautiful smart girl. Abhi suffers from an internal conflict looking at his own monetary, social and intellectual position, and his love for Tuli.

Then suddenly Tuli informs Abhi (on facebook!) that she is coming to visit her old neighborhood over five days of Durga Puja from Sosthi to Dashami. The film is the story of what happens in the Abhi-Tuli love story in those five days.

You will hear Indraneil describe how much fun he had with the film unit in shooting for a movie that is set in Pujas. Koel is a close friend of Indraneil, too, and doing a film with "Tolly-queen" Koel was an exciting time for him as well. Indraneil has some very good words for Koel Mullick - he especially points out her professionalism and her personality, describing Koel as a very refined person coming from a strong background that comes across while working with her.

What's next for Indraneil ? He is playing a very interesting role in the upcoming detective Gogol movie "Goenda Gogol". Among other projects on his plate, he is appearing in Kaushik Ganguly's next film, and is part of an ensemble cast of yet another film. Along with Bengali film-lovers across the world, we eagerly look forward to watching Indraneil's future films and wish him all the very best.

Watch Bangla movie Doshomi / Dashami (2012) Trailer

- Article by Supratim Sanyal

Sayantanee DuttAn ardent recitation and elocution enthusiast, RJ Sayantanee Dutt lives in Fremont, CA and writes and anchors Pashchimi's popular Bangla radio show "Robibarer Ashor" on Radio Zindagi 1550 AM broadcasting in the San Francisco Bay area.

Some of her wonderful recitation recordings have been featured on WBRi available on-demand in this post.