Actor Subrat Dutt on his latest Bengali movie Dotara
Over two decades ago, based on a whim, Bankura boy Subrat Dutta embarked on a journey that would forever alter his life. Today the actor has come a long way since his silver screen debut with Karvaan in 1999 and has played roles in movies like Talaash, RakhtCharitra, Tevar, Chaturanga and III Smoking Barrels. The 43-year-old, who cut his teeth in performing arts at the National School of Drama alongside Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Swanand Kirkire, was in town recently for the promotions of Amitabha Dasgupta’s film Dotara and Indulge caught up with him for a candid conversation.
“I never thought of being an actor, acting happened to me,” shares the zoology graduate who chanced upon a 40-day NSD workshop while he was preparing for an MBA degree. “There comes a time in everyone’s life where he looks for ways of expressing himself. I had just stepped into adulthood, had no money and was terribly confused about life and its ways. I felt trapped within my head and was looking for a medium that would bring out my inner self and deepest thoughts. One day, at a local tea shop, I stumbled upon the workshop advertisement in a newspaper and took a chance on it. The first few days were immensely frustrating as I was apprehensive about my appearance and the language barrier, but within a span of few weeks, I started realising that acting has its own language and mien comes secondary to talent,” expresses the performer who went on to complete his postgraduate degree from the institute.
Speaking about how things have changed in these two decades, the Bibar actor rues the lack of ingenuity, especially in the Bengali film industry. “We belong to the land of Ray, Ghatak and Mrinal Sen - where we could once boast about our place in the show business. Our films inspired movie-makers across the world. It is sad as to how the imaginativeness amongst the younger crowd has decayed, people are more interested in money-making and glitz. If we do not adapt to the change going on out there, in terms of story-telling, creativity and acting, I believe we will need conservation in the near future.”
Subrat began his career on the stage, and later ventured out into the world of cinema. The actor, who will soon be seen in Ashish Roy’s film Sitara opposite Raima Sen, feels both theatre and films have their own kinds of challenges. “Theatre is an actor’s medium. Since it is a live platform, it is important for a performer to hold the emotion. He does not have the option of re-taking a particular shot. On the other hand, films demand alertness from its actors as the process of film-making never follows an exact pattern. Here, we only have an outline to our resort and not everything is written on pen and paper, we do not have extensive rehearsals.”
And if there was one life lesson he could impart to aspiring artistes? “It is not always necessary to be truthful to others. Too much honesty can boomerang back at you. Honesty is the best policy only when it comes to yourself,” smiles Dutta.