Tannishtha Chatterjee: Ready to do a madcap comedy but...

The acclaimed actress is ready with her next release, Rough Book

Keyur Seta

Tannishtha Chatterjee, whose film Rough Book is about to release, is one of the few Indian actresses to have received international acclaim in the last decade or so. Her versatility is seen from the fact that she has played a wide range of characters throughout her career. However, she has never made an appearance in a hardcore Bollywood entertainer. 

When asked about this, Chatterjee said she has no problem doing such films. “If an interesting hardcore commercial Bollywood film is offered to me, I will definitely do it,” she said during an exclusive chat with 

Chatterjee said she is also fine with madcap comedies but with certain conditions. “I would love to act in such films. But if it is extremely offending to a marginalised group then I won’t do it because for me humour and satire mean making fun of the oppressive and powerful. It doesn’t mean making fun of those who are already marginalised. That’s bullying, not satire.”

Chatterjee was speaking during an interaction for Rough Book in which she plays a physics teacher. “She teaches physics in a way people don’t teach in classrooms," said the actress. "She gets students who are not doing well in physics interested in the subject through practical ways. She does experiments in class and takes students to the basketball court. But her management pushes her to finish the syllabus soon. Her larger fight is against the education system, which forces students to mug up.”

“Education is not just about getting marks and earning a salary to pay your EMIs," she continued. "Education also means telling your child not to litter on the road and how you should treat the other person.”

The actress said the film also speaks against the practice of turning education into a business. But she believes we need to change ourselves first to bring any change around. “There is no hope of anything changing unless we change," Chatterjee said. "As an artiste, I get troubled, inspired, bothered and concerned about various issues. I try to express them and bring forward those debates and questions. Film is a beautiful medium of doing that.”

After Rough Book, Tannishtha Chatterjee will be seen in the Australian film Unindian, which will release in India on 5 August. It’s a romantic comedy in which she is paired opposite Australia’s celebrated fast bowler, Brett Lee.