Interview Bengali

The challenges women face make them far more complex and interesting, says Mainak Bhaumik

Bhaumik's film Mini, a 'modern-day, non-chauvinistic take on Kabuliwala', starring Mimi Chakraborty and Ayanna Chatterjee, is set for release on 6 May.

Roushni Sarkar

Mainak Bhaumik’s Mini, starring Mimi Chakraborty and Ayanna Chatterjee, will be released in cinema halls on 6 May. After Crisscross (2018), Cheeni (2020) and Ekannoborti (2021), Bhaumik is back with yet another woman-centric film that celebrates friendship beyond the barriers of age.

In the film, aspiring fashion designer Titli (Chakraborty) is suddenly given the responsibility of taking care of her niece Mini (Chatterjee). Already struggling with her career and a messy relationship, Titli finds it difficult to deal with the child who is quite spoilt.

The film narrates how Mini eventually brings out a responsible side in her aunt as they form an adorable bond.

Ahead of the film's release, director Mainak Bhaumik spoke to in detail about his comfort in telling woman-centric stories and also shared his experience of working with two amazing actresses in the film. Excerpts:

You seem inclined to tell woman-centric stories. Can you tell us the reason?

Mini is essentially a modern-day non-chauvinistic take on Rabindranath Tagore’s Kabuliwala. The characters here are sort of a mock parent and child. It’s a celebration of how difficult it is to be a caregiver or parent. There are a lot of things we take for granted, especially the duties fulfilled by our mothers. None of these happen at the snap of a finger. A lot goes into all these tasks. Now the general tendency is to show a lot of respect to women who work outside the home. But being a caregiver is a pretty difficult job and that’s what this story is all about.

Was Mimi Chakraborty on your mind as Titli from the very beginning?

Mimi is a single, hard-working professional. She is a member of Parliament and an actress. For me she is the epitome of a career-oriented girl. While writing the script, I thought what if I put Mimi Chakraborty in a situation where she suddenly has to turn into a caregiver.

I called her up and approached her with the concept. She agreed and then I wrote the script keeping her in mind. Mimi and I became friends on the sets. We connected instantly. She is a good actor, but to me she is more than just the actor in my film. She knows what she is doing. She knows her craft very well.

How did you take Ayanna on board? What was the experience of working with her like?

One of my associates discovered her. Out of many selections, she came closest to the idea of Mini. What a fabulous actor she is. She is very sweet, calm and she never threw tantrums while working. I was just lucky to have a child actor like her. Her maturity level is probably a little above mine. It’s been a blast and I hope the audience too gets to see that energy reflected on screen.

So will the saga of films centred on women continue?

I genuinely think women are more interesting. The challenges and battles women have to face in reality makes them far more complex, without any negative connotation to it, in terms of how they deal with society. Therefore, they become more colourful as human beings, and for me it is a lot more fun to write about them.