Filmmaker Kamaleswar Mukherjee, who debuted with Uro Chithi in 2011, had everyone's attention with his 2013 film Meghe Dhaka Tara, a film based on the life and works of iconic director Ritwik Ghatak. Now he is back with his new experimental movie Mukhomukhi (Face to Face).
Starring Jisshu Sengupta, Payel Sarkar, Gargee Roychowdhury, Rajatava Dutta, Darshana Banik and Shaheb Bhattacherjee, the film incorporates the mise-en-scene exercise, a theatre or film technique of telling a story through artful ways. “In Mukhomukhi, we have shown an entire city and an apartment within one indoor set, which is minimalistic and suggestive. The same set has been used for all the contexts and characters in the movie,” tells Mukherjee, a fan of Sergei Eisenstein and Andrei Tarkovsky.
A qualified doctor, Mukherjee gave up medical practice to pursue his passion in filmmaking. The 49-year-old man of few words, who loves spending time at his desktop, is also involved with theatre group, Shailushik, the latest production of which Playhouse debuted last October was directed by him. Adapted from Swiss writer Friedrich Durrenmatt’s A Dangerous Game, the play had an impressive turn out==? and will be staged again this February. Indulge caught up with the director about the film and his future plans. Excerpts:
What’s the plot of the film?
The film looks at the current socio political scenario through the prism of an urban setting. As I said, I have employed a lot of theatrical techniques in the film.
Currently, we are seeing a lot of social and political injustices across the world including religious fundamentalism, corruption, economic inequality, caste politics and fights and an overall aggression that’s raising its head worldwide. Somehow, we are becoming more violent. These crises triggered an idea in me to explore if we could sit face to face with the audience and place our take on it. That’s how Mukhomukhi developed into a story being told through the characters and how they are facing these universal crises in their lives.
Your movie Goodnight City that released last year sank without a trace…
Many people do not even know that I made a movie called Goodnight City and it was taken off screen soon after its release. I don’t want to go into the details of what went wrong but the film didn’t even get a proper screening. Not many people got to watch it.
You had done Chander Pahar with Dev, one of the biggest blockbusters ever in Tollywood. Amazon Obhijaan followed that. We hear you are planning another movie on digital surveillance with him?
This movie is about how dangerous digital surveillance is and how our data can become a dangerous weapon against us. It will be a thriller of a different kind.
Are you planning any films or series for the web?
I am planning to do a web series very soon. It will be a medical thriller, which will also have references to my own experiences as a doctor. Besides, I am also developing a story on current media, politics - the underbelly of Kolkata.
Mukhomukhi releases today