Interview Bengali

Wanted to explore my potential, says Soham Chakraborty about Bhootchakra Pvt Ltd role


Actor Soham Chakraborty speaks about his role as an entrepreneur capturing ghosts in Bhootchakra Pvt Ltd and the spooky location where the film was shot.

Roushni Sarkar

Soham Chakraborty will be seen playing one of the leading trio in Haranath Chakraborty’s upcoming horror comedy Bhootchakra Pvt Ltd.

Soham will essay the character of Amit alongside Bonny Sengupta's Bony and Gaurav Chakrabarty's Nemo aka Nimai Bose and has been paired with Srabanti Chatterjee in the film slated for release on 5 July.

In a conversation with Cinestaan.com, Soham Chakraborty shared his reasons for opting for the film and also recalled a few stories from the shooting floor. The actor also suggested the audience watch the film on the big screen because they might lose out on a few elements otherwise. Excerpts:

We see a Bhoot Jantra [Ghost Machine] in the film and in the trailer there are characters that suggest the rivalry is not merely between ghosts and mortals but among mortals as well.

See, there are various flavours in the story. It is not merely a horror film. There are elements of thrill and suspense. There is comedy and I would like to call the film a horror comedy. The audience will also get to taste a bit of romance. I am hopeful that the fluidity between genres will appeal to the audience.

Why did you choose to do the film?

There are some unexplored areas in the film. These days, we are always keen on experimenting with storylines. When I read the script I found it quite interesting because the film has so much in store beyond the horror elements.

I wanted to grab the opportunity and portray Amit so that I could explore my potential as an actor. My primary intention was to do a good film. The rest, whether the film will be successful or not, depends entirely on the audience and luck. As a member of the film fraternity, I wanted to be part of a good project. We will be glad if the audience likes the film. If they don’t we would like to review the loopholes.

Can you tell us about your character?

Amit and his two friends are unemployed. Amit's great-grandfather had invented the unique Bhoot Jantra long back. First they consider that the machine might be sold off for crores, but later they decide to use it themselves by starting a business with it. They set out on a mission to capture ghosts and earn thousand rupees for each of them. Soon they start getting clients and, eventually, a family comes up with a crucial problem to have them deal with. As they set out on their adventure, the rest of the story explores their various encounters with ghosts and many other twists.

How different is Amit from Soham Chakraborty?

He is quite different. First of all, I could never think of capturing ghosts with a machine. Also, the traits of Amit are not similar to mine. I am glad to get this new character and for being able to get into the skin of Amit.

How was the experience of working with the director?

Haranath Chakraborty

When I first worked with Hara-mamu [uncle], I was three years old. The film was Chhoto Bou (1988) by Anjan Choudhury and Hara-mamu worked as assistant director on it. I also worked in his debut film Mangal Deep (1989). As a teenager I worked in his Swapno (2005). Eventually, I got the lead role in Bajimat in 2008. So it has been a long period of acquaintance with him. There are only two people in the industry whom I call Mamu, one is Hara-mamu and the other is Bumba-mamu [actor Prosenjit Chatterjee].

He [Haranath Chakraborty] has always pampered me like a doting mama [maternal uncle]. I have spent time with him both on and off shooting sets. He is a fantastic human being as well as a technician and director. All of us love to work with him and that is where his success lies.

I wish he continues to work with the same rigour and remains the same human being he has always been. He can give all artistes a certain comfort zone. He gives them equal respect and reprimands them when needed. He wishes good of people and till now I have never heard him speak ill of anybody.

He has also given numerous hits which Bengali cinema can always boast of.

Did you carry some of the experiences of shooting for a horror film back home?

Since the film has a lot of other elements, the experience was not so consuming. Also, the three of us [leading men] are great friends behind the scenes as well. Though I am working with Gaurav for the first time, we have portrayed the chemistry quite well on screen. We have worked as a team.

The place where we shot the film is quite far from our houses and hence we used to get back home quite late at night. Therefore, the schedule was a bit hectic. Other than that, shooting in the Titagarh jute mill was a fantastic experience as the place is quite spooky.

There was an absolutely dark place where we used go with a torch. There was also a bathroom which looked quite haunted. The first day I mustered courage and got inside, but on subsequent days I had to tell someone to stand guard while I was inside the bathroom.

You will be seen working again with one of your most popular co-stars, Srabanti Chatterjee, in this film. Was the experience different this time? And how was it working with Rittika Sen?

With Srabanti Chatterjee in Piya Re (2018)

It is better not to comment on Rittika as her popularity is on a different level now (laughs). Even when she steps out of the vanity van and comes to the floor, she has four security guards around her.

Yes, I have been fortunate enough to work with Srabanti in multiple films and hopefully will continue to do so in future. They both fit in their characters very well. Srabanti is a very good human being too.

Will Bhootchakra Pvt Ltd remind us of the horror stories from Bengali literature?

Yes, the flavour of the film is typically Bengali. We have seen the way Hara-mamu has retained originality in the entire film. Despite the advancement in the technical aspects, the film has certain elements that are bound make the audience nostalgic.