Special: Actors Soham Chakraborty and Priyanka Sarkar get together for their film, Kolkatar Harry
The film also happens to be the first from Soham's production house
It’s not often that good children’s movies are made in mainstream Tollywood. Though there are a few recent films with children in central roles, the content caters more to accompanying adults with children mouthing precocious dialogues. Here’s where actor turned producer Soham Chakraborty wants to make a difference with the first movie from his production house, Kolkata Harry. Pegged as an innocent fun movie, the film, which was released in theatres today, already garnered positive reviews from those who watched it at the recently concluded Kolkata International Film Festival, where it had a special screening.
Directed by debutant filmmaker Rajdeep Ghosh, this film sees Soham in the lead role along with Priyanka Sarkar and Oishika Guhathakurta among others. We talk to the lead pair, who will be seen for the third time together after Pratighat and Amar Apanjan, over a sumptuous lunch at Lord of the Drinks about the film and more.
You started out as a child actor and now your first film as a producer actor too is a children’s movie. Was it a conscious decision?
Soham: It really feels great and I am so thankful for all the support that I got from the industry including veteran actors and filmmakers like Prosenjit Chatterjee, Raj Chakraborty and Dipankar De among others.
When I heard the story for the first time, I knew that I wanted to do this film as my debut production. The story is so unadulterated that it invariably takes you back to your childhood, innocent days. Also, the film’s director Rajdeep Ghosh steered the team and the project so well that the children never realised for once that they were shooting and it was a serious job. Full credit goes to him for taking out the performance from them so easily. I am sure that the audience will relive their long-forgotten days of childhood when they watch this film.
Priyanka: The script indeed took me back to my childhood and my character is a link between the adult and the children in the audience. What drew me to this beautiful fantasy fairytale is its innocence of narrative that I am sure adults too will enjoy the same.
Soham: There’s also a deep social message in the film – not to force children to do something. The best part is that all the characters are so innocent including Harinath Patra played by me. But the story unfolds as he falls into deep trouble and faces the crisis and emerges victorious. As we grow older, we stop believing in magic, but magic does happen in everyone’s life, it simply takes time and one needs to be patient.
Tell us a little about your roles in the film?
Priyanka: I play Mohor, Titli’s elder sister in this movie who works in a company and the rough and tumble of life has made her very practical. But under Harinath’s (Soham) influence, again starts to see the world through the prism of innocence and magic. She shares nice chemistry with Titli and like any other sister, she teases, rags and scolds her but also protects and defends her from their parents’ rebuke.
Soham: I play a school bus driver, Harinath Patra, who is a poor but educated man. He has grown up reading fantasy books and believes in the world of magic and innocence. He is deeply inspired by Harry Potter and he shows magic and feeds the children in the slums. His life is surrounded by kids but the movie takes a turn when certain serious allegations are brought against him. The movie is about how Hari fights back and emerges innocent.
As seasoned actors what are your parameters now, before you lock a script?
Priyanka: As actors, there’s always a hunger to do different roles and we always wait and search for such opportunities to arrive. There’s no challenge in doing the same thing as actors. I try to see how invested the director is in the project and the subject of the film and whether the financiers are eager to promote the film well.
Soham: For me, content is more important as an artiste and as a producer, I am ready to make a little less profit but I want to create cinema that will leave a mark and films that people will talk about long after watching them.
What are your future projects?
Soham: I have just finished shooting for Paka Dekha directed by Premendu Bikash Chaki. It’s a full-on comedy genre film that has Susmita Chatterjee opposite me and it’s in the post-production stage. We are planning to shoot another movie at June end or July. I am also starring in a crucial role in a crime thriller for ZEE5 and I did a cameo in Parambrata Chatterjee's next directorial venture, Boudir Canteen.
Priyanka: I have many ready films including Radio and a Hoichoi web series Mahabharata Murders where I play an IPS officer.
Kolkatar Harry is running in theatres now