Filmmaker Pradipta Bhattacharyya's first animated short, Lyaad, will star actor Ritwick Chakraborty
In Bengali 'Lyaad' is a popular and innocent slang referring to a state of pure and simple laziness, which doesn’t exactly have an English equivalent. National award-winning filmmaker Pradipta Bhattacharyya is trying to capture this indolence on celluloid in his first-ever animated short film, Lyaad, starring none other than the talented Ritwick Chakraborty.
“When ICE Media Lab approached me with the concept of the movie, naturally, as a Bengali, I was very drawn to the topic. Bengalis will relate to this movie. And despite the fun element, we have also tried to subtly show what happens if anyone dares to be a little lax in this very stressful corporate world,” tells Pradipta.
Lyaad is a musical journey of an overworked and stressed out corporate hotshot, who is in perpetual search of respite from the gruelling schedule of his demanding professional world. Pressed between his devil of a boss and an ever-nagging wife, Kinkar, a young man played by Ritwick, looks for some solace in an unlikely ally. One day, Raja Da, the king of ghosts, appears to give Kinkar that one thing which was missing from his life — the boon of ‘lyaad’. What follows is a hilarious trip to fantasy land, where simply ‘doing nothing’ is the law of the land.
“The role of Kinkar required a lot of creative flair, as a lot of imagination was required. So, Ritwick was an apt choice for me, as he is so well-equipped as an actor,” adds Pradipta. For Ritwick, who has done many a short film in his impressive career, working on Lyaad was an equally enriching and tricky experience.
“In this movie, I am the only human character, and everything else in the background is animation. Most of the time, while shooting, I had to pretend to do things. I had to get all my acts precise, so that the animation or graphics could fit in well later on. For example, even while pretending to drink a glass of water, I had to hold it in a way that later, a glass could be placed in my hand. It was indeed an interesting experience,” explains Ritwick, who will also be seen in a slew of Bengali movies this year including Atanu Ghosh’s Bini Sutoy, Soukarya Ghosal’s Bhoot Pori, Raj Chakraborty’s Dharmajudhho among others.
In this film, that was conceived over a Skype chat between tech geek Shankar Seal and composer Anirban Ajoy Das, music plays a vital part. “The arrangement of the song is in the jazzblues genre with a flair of hip-hop intonations. However, the sound design is very distinctively different from a regular jazz number,” says Anirban.
For filmmaker Pradipta, whose recently released film Rajlokkhi-O-Shrikanto became a victim of lack of distribution, and was pulled back from theatres within four days of its release, Lyaad has been very exciting and fun to work on, and something distinctively different from what he usually does. “After making Lyaad, I’m pretty enticed with the world of animation, and I plan to experiment a little more with this genre of filmmaking, maybe something satirical about the current socio-political state of this country,” says Pradipta, who is already working on the script for his next feature film, which will be about a popular myth.
Lyaad is set to release on YouTube on January 11.
sharmishtha.g @newindianexpress.com @sharmidas