‘Story is the hero of the movie,’ says Saswata Chatterjee

He shot to fame as Bob Biswas in Kahaani and then went back to doing Bengali movies. But 46-year-old Chatterjee is back in Anurag Basu’s Jagga Jasoos which is releasing on July 14. He talks to Sangeeta Yadav about working on the project

  • How was it to be Jasoos’ father?

It was fun to play Bagchi. It is an interesting role. The film is entertaining too. The story revolves around the relationship between father and son and how a teenage detective goes in search of his missing father. Since it is a musical thriller, it makes the film different from others and challenging to work in.

  • People still remember you as Bob Biswas of Kahaani…

Yes they do! Frankly, I waited for a role which is better than Bob Biswas. When Anurag Basu approached me for this film, it caught my attention as it is bigger and better than playing Bob Biswas. People will love Bagchi.

  • How was it to work with Anurag Basu?

He is the most interesting director I have worked with. He kept dictating the scenes. He knew what he wanted, everything was clear in his head. We trusted his vision and followed his directions. There was literally no script, which was interesting for me. There was implicit trust between the actor and the director. When Anurag approached me for this movie, he said: ‘I am taking you in this movie because I want you in this role. So just act, and you will see the results on screen’. The entire starcast knew the story. But just before the shoot Anurag would narrate the shot to us. That’s how we shot the entire film.

  • Was sharing screen space with Ranbir and Katrina any different?

It was a learning experience. The amount of work load they take to do justice to their performances is tremendous. We had a great professional relationship and supported each other. This ensured that we gave our best to this film. Every person in this film is important, starting from Ranbir, Katrina, Anurag to cinematographer Ravi Varman, action director Allan Amin and music director Pritam. The film is a difficult when it comes to music. Pritam had to come up with 29 songs which are a part of the narrative. He also had to work on six main tracks which are already in top 10 lists.

  • Why do we not get to see you more often in Bollywood?

After Kahaani, many Bollywood directors approached me. But the dates were clashing with the Bengali films which I had committed to.

  • What do you look for before signing a film?

I like the variety of subjects that Bollywood is coming up with  — be it a low or big budget film. Technically, Bollywood movies are rich. I believe that it is the story which is the hero of the movie and this is true across world cinema.

  • A lot of theatres have been shut down due to GST. Your view.

We should all pay taxes. But since filmmaking is a creative field meant to entertain the audience, cinema and entertainment should be supported by the Government. Movies make people happy. If we make people happy by entertaining them through various means, it will bring down the crime rate. We all need Government support to make entertainment accessible and affordable.

  • Have you started keeping a mobile phone now?

No, never! I still use the landline number to communicate with people because I can’t talk over the phone for so long and I avoid using mobiles as it is the biggest hindrance to productivity. Cell phones have become like toys that consume all our time. Nowadays, everyone is busy with his mobile phone all the time. It is annoying.

  • What else is keeping you busy?

I’m doing two Bengali movies — Basu Poribaar directed by Suman Ghosh, and Network directed by debutant Saptaswa Basu.


(The article also got published in Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/story-is-the-hero-of-the-movie.html).


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