Swatilekha Sengupta on working in films, Soumitra Chatterjee and more

Satyajit Ray aficionados could consider Swatilekha Sengupta as the comely spouse stuck in a love triangle between her rich husband (Victor Banerjee) and his freedom-fighter pal Soumitra Chatterjee in Ghare Baire (1985). The film confirmed her caught in a whirlwind of emotions as she had to select among her sedate husband and the charismatic admirer. It turned into a sensitive overall performance and received her admiration at the pageant circuit. Her lip-lock with Soumitra within the movie did ruffle some feathers. Negative evaluations of her performance at home affected her strongly and he or she didn’t signal a movie for close to 30 years after that. She turned into recently visible in Bela Seshe (2015, The End) directed by Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee. In this she become reunited with Soumitra. The 70-12 months-antique actor, who’s known more for her performs than films, suffered a heart attack some time in the past. The actrress is better now. And she’s excited about her upcoming movie Bela Shuru (The Beginning).Starring her and Soumitra Chatterjee once more, the movie is a kind of religious successor to the crew’s in advance movie. Excerpts from an interview with Swatilekha – a Sangeet Natak Akademi Award winner, who has lost none of her pizzazz to the passage of time.
A woman from Allahabad would’ve travelled to Mumbai and now not Kolkata to be an actress. What made you do the contrary?
I came here in 1975-76 after finishing my MA from Allahabad University. I turned into constantly interested in theatre. Eventually, I joined the Nandikar institution (she labored underneath the route of Rudraprasad Sengupta, one of the founders, whom she later married). Sombhu Mitra became an icon of the theatre international at that point. I did German dramatist Bertolt Brecht’s Galileo with him. I hardly had any function inside the play. But Satyajit Ray watched it and he desired me to play Bimala in Ghare Baire (1985).

Do you bear in mind your first assembly with Satyajit Ray?
I didn’t need to take my final tests in faculty. So I’d written a letter to Ray pronouncing, “Please take me to your film, I don’t want to try this examination.” But I didn’t get any reply. Years later, I got a call from actor Rabi Ghosh pronouncing Satyajit Ray desires to meet you. I didn’t accept as true with him. But finally I agreed. There turned into a bandh the day I changed into to fulfill Ray. I walked 14 kilometres to attain his vicinity. When he opened the door, he gave the impression of he’d seen a ghost. He stated, “How could you come these days? Everything is closed.” I stated, “Okay, I’ll pass back.” He stated, “No, no, sit.” He commenced making my sketches and stated, “You’re my heroine.” He gave me the script of Ghare Baire, which turned into primarily based on Rabindranath Tagore’s novel of the identical call.
What become Satyajit Ray like as someone and as a filmmaker?
He turned into Tagore, Picasso, Beethoven, all rolled into one. He became a exceptional artist too. He used to paint all his scenes before shooting them. He used to even paint the blouse and sarees of his female characters. The cloth used to be bought in step with the painting. He himself searched for the Victoria emblem cigarettes just for one shot in Ghare Baire. Also, there’s a bit field of jewels inside the movie. He employed that field for 8000 rupees for at some point. But he by no means wasted cash on taking retakes. He was kanjoos. He changed into a one-take director. I turned into in contact with him even after the movie. But I turned into shy approximately displaying how vital he was for me. I’d inform him, “Manikda please forgive me. But I can’t do that, ‘Dada, Dada’ enterprise all the time. Whatever there’s for you, it’s in my coronary heart. I can’t express it.” He stated, “But how will I realize which you want to do another film.” I stated, “That’s authentic. I need to do every other movie.” But he passed away before that. It changed into sad.

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