Interview: Swastika Mukherjee on her first film of the year Bijoyar Pore, and more

The film has an ensemble cast and sees Swastika playing daughter to actors Dipankar Dey and Mamata Shankar
Swastika Mukherjee
Swastika Mukherjee

Last year saw Swastika Mukherjee exploring characters she never tried before. Whether it's playing the dreaded mafia leader in the movie Shibpur or the persevering and intelligent IPS officer in the web series Nikhoj, she impressed us all with her impeccably nuanced performance. And now with the onset of this year, she will be seen in an ensemble film Bijoyar Pore helmed by yesteryear pair Dipankar Dey and Mamata Shankar, that's all set for theatre release on January 12. Swastika who plays daughter to the charming couple essays a layered role, who returns home post-Pujas after years of strenuous relationship with her parents. The film, directed by debutant Abhijit Sri Das was screened at the recently held Kolkata International Film Festival, where it was received by the audience with a lot of love.

We talk to the bubbly and very positive actress about the same apart from her interesting role in Srijit Mukherji's big upcoming Puja release Tekka.

Excerpts from the chat:

Tell us about your role in Bijoyar Pore, your first release of the year.

Stalwart actors Dipankar Dey and Mamata Shankar are the faces of the film and we are just surrounding the actors with our presence. I play their almost estranged daughter, Mrinmoyee.

Though she shared a strong bond with her father who was her best friend, Mrinmoyee’s relationship with him got strained due to certain turn of events in her life in the recent past. The narrative of the film centres around homecoming and Mrinmoyee comes home after many years. In real lives too, we keep the thread hanging loose and wait for the other person to take the first step to straighten things out. In this film, that waiting has played a vital role too. We are always hoping for that other person to make the move and waste so much precious time in the process.

<em>Swastika Mukherjee</em>
Swastika Mukherjee

How do you straighten out things in real life?

I am not somebody to sit and wait, I don’t have that patience to let things linger. Unlike many people, who live comfortably with mental baggage, I will call a hundred times or leave countless messages to just be over with the problem, and if the other person doesn’t react it’s not my battle to fight anymore. I advise my daughter the same thing -- to make an effort to talk and sort out problems that she might have with anyone.

How was the experience of working with such seasoned and senior actors as Dipankar Dey and Mamata Shankar?

It’s always wonderful to have such seniors around. Whenever I see Dipankar Dey I feel I am seeing my dad, he looks so similar to him nowadays – I feel all parents look the same when they grow old. They are a different generation of actors, who emote from heart and it feels so good to be pampered on sets by seniors.

<em>Swastika Mukherjee</em>
Swastika Mukherjee

You will also be seen in Srijit Mukherji’s Puja release Tekka.

Yes, but I am not cast opposite Parambrata Chatterjee in that film! I was astonished to see the news splashed everywhere. Initially, when Srijit contacted me in 2021 while I was in Mumbai, I was offered some other role. And now, when he came with the offer again, it was for another role. So, I was in two minds initially, but ultimately agreed because I loved reading the book that the film is based on and I haven’t done this kind of character in any of Srijit’s films. Also, it will be my first work with actor Dev.

What are you playing?

I am playing a working, single mother – a very cut-out role for me where I really don’t have to act but just be myself (laughs).

Your other upcoming work?

I am going through some 15-16 scripts. Season 2 of Nikhoj will happen, there’s Ribhu Dasgupta’s 84 and a yet untitled Hindi film by Dibakar Banerjee besides a Hindi indie film. There are also talks of a film with Arjunn Dutta, which will be my third with him.

Any new year resolution?

Nothing as such, but I will try to quit smoking, and I hope to find a good-looking guy. I don’t need a guy to look after me, I just want someone who’s good-looking and intelligent enough to hold conversations over wine and coffee.

Bijoyar Porey releases today

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