Interview Bengali

Rohan Sen's Ebhabei Golpo Hok is a realistic love story: Joy Sengupta


Sen's optimism and passion made the actor agree to do the film, in which he has a small but crucial role.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Roushni Sarkar

Noted theatre and film actor Joy Sengupta, will be seen playing a crucial role in Rohan Sen’s debut feature film Ebhabei Golpo Hok (2020). The actor, who has been a student of noted theatre artiste and poet Habib Tanvir, the late theatre activist Safdar Hashmi, and theatre director and drama teacher Ebrahim Alkazi, has not only performed at some of the most prestigious theatres around the world, but has also taught drama in schools, conducted workshops, and actively participated in street plays too.

Sengupta, who strictly believes that politics cannot be separated from life, plays a filmmaker in Ebhabei Golpo Hok. He has failed in his career as well as in his marital life. Now he is eager to compensate for these failures by making a romantic film, based on a real-life story.

In his conversation with Cinestaan.com, the actor largely speaks of his interests as an actor and his reason for being part of a young director’s debut venture.

What was your initial reaction when you were approached by a 19-year-old director?

I agree age is a factor, because to make films, one requires adequate experience in life. At the same time, a young director also has a fresh perspective towards life while an aged filmmaker might start repeating himself or herself. Or the ideas might become stale after few years. I liked Rohan's optimism and passion and that’s why I agreed to do the film. He asked for my support, and I feel, if we support someone with a genuine purpose, that person is able to do a lot of good work for others as well.

I liked my character too, which makes a brief appearance, but is important. We get to see the primary story and all the characters from his perspective, as he is conceiving it for making a film. He has his own story as well. He has failed in sustaining his marital relationship and hence, is trying to make sure that the relationship featured in the storyline achieves success. He is trying to compensate for the lack in his life through his artistic creation.

Also, it is not necessary for a person to mature with age only. One can develop maturity at an early age as well. I hope with time and age, Rohan will gather more experience and make even better films.

How did you find him as a director?

He is quite hyperactive and super enthusiastic. At the same time, he is not someone who is easily content, which is a good quality since it means that he is continuously looking for perfection. Though I feel that achieving perfection is impossible, pursuing it is necessary.

A satisfied director is not a very good director. Rather, a dissatisfied director will always try to improve on his or her work. I have had an objective position throughout the making of the film, and I often made suggestions to encourage everyone on the sets. Everyone took my suggestions sportingly, and applied them as well.

How much did you relate with your character?

My character is quite egoistic and passionate about making films. Both these factors affect his personal life. People, especially men, who are in creative fields, are well aware of the fact that their insecurities and egos affect their personal life most. Interestingly, when we breathe life into a character, we develop a very good understanding of it. But at the same time, we do not always apply those takeaways in our personal life successfully. On the other hand, if we try, those understandings might help us look at life with a fresh perspective, or help us to react to certain situations with a new approach.

You have been part of many interesting films but you are not seen very frequently.

I was never in a rush to do many films. I never came into this field with the intention of rushing, or showing myself in the business very frequently or treat it like a 9 to 5 job. Neither do I want to compete or prove myself. For me, acting enables my artistic growth. Every artiste has his or her own signature, and actors have that too.

However, actors have this primary need for experience to develop an understanding of life and human beings, and to analyse those understandings too. The entire process is intellectual, for which it is necessary to lead a full life. One has to give time to life as well. Staying on the sets for most of the time, will not allow for those opportunities. One has to step out of the orchestrated or choreographed life, and that’s what I do.

Also, I am lucky to be deeply associated with theatre from my school days, which has allowed me to have a deep understanding of life through applying it to the craft, taking it to audiences and connecting with them. I think, instead of competition, artistes always need to face some challenges. Often, rather than work that reaps popularity, the one that pushes us to face certain challenges, leaves a deeper imprint in our subconscious mind.

I look for this kind of work so as to grow as a human being. You cannot grow as an artiste if you cannot grow as a human being. These two journeys run parallel. Rather than making frequent appearances, I feel it is important to have appearances that impact minds and encourage certain voices to change.

How would you like to appeal to the audience to watch the film?

I think this film is basically meant for a young audience, which is eager to look for new content in a romantic film. Love is not only about romance, but it is also about going through a lot of challenges and surviving them. This film attempts to capture that aspect of love which survives the day-to-day complications. I think there is an audience which appreciates realistic love stories. And if they do, I can assure them that Rohan will be making good films in the future.