Article Bengali

Bohomaan naturally embraces diversity, without making a big deal, says Aparna Sen

In the film, Sen plays Madhuri, who is reunited with her lost love, Salim Khan (Soumitra Chatterjee) after many years.

Sen with co-star Soumitra Chatterjee

Roushni Sarkar

Aparna Sen and Soumitra Chatterjee will be sharing screen once again in Anumita Dasgupta’s upcoming film Bohobmaan. The co-stars, first worked together on Satyajit Ray’s Teen Kanya in the story Samapti in 1961, were last seen together in Suman Ghosh’s Basu Paribaar (2019).

At the poster and trailer launch of the film last month, the lead actress stated that working with Chatterjee and Sohag Sen, who has been her friend for long, was one of the key reasons of signing on. According to her, after Ray's Samapti, she enjoyed working with the veteran actor again in Paromitar Ek Din (2000), in which they also played lovers and she had the opportunity to direct the legend as well.

“In Basu Paribaar, there was a huge ensemble cast. In that film, Soumitra Babu was not only one of the lead actors, but he also contributed to certain portions of the script and so did I. For Bohomaan too, Anumita asked for my inputs and I tried my best to meet the requirements," the National award-winning filmmaker added.

Sen elaborated that Bohomaan is a film on love, relationships and friendships and it tends to tell everyone’s story. "I expect the audience to watch and love the film. They will be able to relate and identify themselves with the characters," she said.

In the film, Sen plays Madhuri, who is reunited with her lost love, Salim Khan (Chatterjee) after many years. According to Sen, "What I liked most about the script was that it did not highlight the religious difference between the two lovers unnecessarily."

Sen highlighted the point that in most Bengali films, there are characters from privileged upper caste backgrounds. “Filmmakers tend to forget that there are people of so many diverse racial and economic backgrounds residing together in our country. Sometimes, characters from these backgrounds are kept in the films as tokens," she elaborated.

"However, Bohomaan doesn’t make a big deal out of the fact that the male protagonist of the film is a Muslim, while I play a Hindu woman. I am happy that the film embraces the diversity so naturally. I congratulate Anumita for making the film through so much hardships," Sen continued.

In the film, Madhuri shares a complex relationship with her son Subrata, played by Bratya Basu. Subrata is not quite happy with his mother’s bliss in finding her old love and neither does he support her decision of moving with him. “The relationship I share with Bratya on screen is quite complicated. It is full of love, irritation, anger and many other complicated emotions. On the other hand, my relationship with Arpita’s character, my daughter-in-law, is quite unconventional. We are more like friends," she shared.

In the film, Sohag plays Arpita’s mother and a long-time friend of Madhuri. Hence, they too have an interesting equation in the film. Bohomaan is slated for release on 29 November.