Abarto hits Kolkata screens
“I am more at ease in portraying character roles” - Joya Ahsan
As her debut Indian film “Abarto” hit the screens in Kolkata on Friday, well-known Bangladeshi actress Jaya Ahsan is both excited as well as a little anxious how the audience there receives her role in it.
Having wowed Kolkata film lovers with her impressive performance in award-winning “Guerrilla” (directed by Nasiruddin Yousuff Bachchu) at the Kolkata International Film Festival two years ago, Jaya said on Friday that she hoped the audience here would not reject her role in “Abarto” as the present-day avatar of Charulata, the lead character in Satyajit Ray's movie “Charulata”.
The reason for her anxiety is that there has been some speculation if her role in “Abarto” is reminiscent of Madhabi Mukherjee's role in Ray's “Charulata”.
“My character Charu is not exactly a take-off from Charulata, and I simply am awestruck about Madhabi Mukherjee's portrayal of the character,” insists Jaya. “But yes, like every woman of this age, my Charu also feels cooped up in the 'abarto' (cycle) and wants to move beyond.”
About similarities between her character and that of Charulata in the Ray classic, Jaya said, “Both Charulata and my Charu belong to north Kolkata. Both are very traditional and yet steeped in modernity and I guess in both films the two are pivotal characters. But the direct similarities end there.”
According to Jaya, experimentation was more predominant in Bengali films on this side of the border. “Here the audience seems to be more receptive to multilayered films and their tastes are different.”
Jaya, who had got rave reviews for her portrayal in films like “Chorabali” (2012), internationally acclaimed “Guerrilla” (2011), besides “Dubsatar” (2010) and “Bachelor” (2003), said, “I am more at ease in portraying character roles.”
About the difference in working in Tollywood and Dhaliwood, Jaya said “I would love to work in both industries. We talk in the same language, the surroundings are so similar in the two 'Bengals; there exists the same middle, upper middle and lower classes.
And the little tales of woe and misery of the poor in both parts of the border remain the same. So, how can the film language be different?”
The actress said Bangladesh is as possessive about Satyajit Ray and Rabindranath Tagore as India, and expressed the hope that the move by FICCI and producers of Bangladesh film industry to open up the market was replete with great possibilities.
Happy that “Abarto” will be among the first few Bengali films lined up for release in Bangladesh territory, its director-actor Arindam said, “Abarto is a metaphor signifying planetary movement in this universe.”
“Like planets in the solar system, we are moving in the same axis; we are playing with our emotions, our values and moral progress,” he said.