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Interview Bengali

Rahul Banerjee urges audience not to wait for Samsara on TV or online platforms

Actor Rahul Banerjee speaks about working with director duo Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Guha as well as his character of a superficial and materialistic person in the film.

Roushni Sarkar

Actor Rahul Banerjee plays a pivotal role in Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Guha’s film Samsara, which is now running in theatres. Also featuring Ritwick Chakraborty, Sudipta Chakraborty, Indrajit Chakraborty, Tanusree Chakraborty, Arjaa Banerjee and Devlina Kumar, Samsara is a psychological thriller that also attempts to explore the dynamics of friendship and life in terms of a philosophical journey.

In Samsara, Rahul, Indrajit and Ritwick play three friends who meet after 18 years and go on a vacation to a place called Samsara. The mysterious place makes them look at life with a new perspective, following an intriguing journey.

In a candid chat with Cinestaan.com, Rahul Banerjee shared his experience of working with the director duo with whom he wanted to work for a long time and explains why Samsara holds a special place for him. Excerpts:

Samsara is a psychological thriller that has elements of friendship and a journey as well. What would you like to say about the content of the film?

I have broadly maintained that it is a cross-genre film. Of course, it is a psychological thriller. However, it has elements of a philosophical journey, friendships and life. Hence, it is difficult to restrict the film in a particular genre. Ritwick has also said the same in various promotional events.

Sudeshna Roy was saying the film is divided into two parts and in the second the characters experience certain uncanny incidents...

The destination Samsara in itself is mysterious, Certain occurrences take place there with which our past, some forgotten incidents and some characters whom we don’t want to remember are related. This portion of the film is extremely interesting.

Why were you interested to be part of the film?

Primarily, the experience of working with Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Guha was long due. We planned to work together many times but somehow the projects were not materializing. Moreover, the film has been produced by Indrajit-da. Also, I wanted an opportunity to be a co-actor of my friend Ritwick. All these aspects along with the script made me interested to be part of this project.

Can you tell us about your character?

My character is of a superficial man who has suddenly become rich and is also street-smart. We know that money doesn’t assure everything, especially the fine tastes of life. Similarly, my character is quite materialistic and doesn’t have much ethics. Among the three friends, he is the most vulnerable and doesn’t have control over his emotions. I found the character to be quite interesting.

Did you have to undergo preparation for enacting such a character?

I did incorporate certain elements from some of my acquaintances, in terms of physical gestures. We also discussed on the floor and I followed the instructions of the directors as well.

Can you share some of your experiences from the shoot?

We went to some of the most beautiful locations in Meghalaya. Besides, being an actor himself, Indrajit-da knows how to pamper the artistes on the floor. He made sure we could shoot there in utmost comfort. Moreover, there was no network and hence we were completely detached from our phones and could spend the entire time in adda [conversation] amongst ourselves. We could spend hours chatting with one another after the shooting schedules. It was fun.

Was it challenging to shoot at so many locations in Kolkata within a short span of time?

Yes, there were diverse locations in Kolkata and they were used in the most appropriate ways. See, the three friends have their individual tracks of life before they meet. Therefore, not all of us were there at every location, barring Indrajit-da. The locations allocated to me basically represented my journey from a humble background to being a rich in the best possible way.

How was the experience of working with your co-actors and the directors? You have been paired with Arjaa Banerjee for the first time.

Yes, we worked together for the first time. It was a good experience. However, I quite enjoyed enacting a completely different kind of role with Sudipta Chakraborty, who is not only one of my favourite actresses, but has also been a very close senior from the early days of my career, after a long time.

Speaking about Ritwick, I am his fan. It was amazing that he gave me the optimum space to express myself fully while performing with him. I have worked with Indrajit-da before as well, he is a man with a golden heart. I have hardly met such genuine human beings.

Though I did not have many opportunities to do films with Sudeshna-di and Abhijit-da, they are so much related to the industry itself that I happened to get involved in many other projects with them. When I was into television, I did many projects with them. I also participated in various events after Chirodini Tumi Je Amar, but somehow films were not happening. They treat the actors like their family members. Also, the way they complement each other and their thoughts are so much in sync that it is quite fascinating. They are truly an amazing pair.

What do you think the audience should expect from the film?

Samsara has extremely interesting content. The film has some of our favourite actors and actresses too. The locations in the film are beautiful and the film is a beautiful cinematic composition. All our efforts will be successful if the audience watches the film in theatres. I want to request the audience to not wait for the film to get released on online platforms or on television.