Cover: Actor Arjun Chakrabarty flaunts four exclusive looks from Rahul Dasgupta's wedding edit Jashn
The actor's film, X=Prem, directed by Srjit Mukherji, releases today
Actor Arjun Chakrabarty is stealing the thunder from many of his contemporaries with his latest screen outings. And the one film that has propelled his career prospects majorly is Subhrajit Mitra’s Avijatrik, based on the concluding part of Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s epic novel Aparajito. The film sees a very mature Arjun playing the lead role of Apu with finesse, consciously avoiding any resemblance, whatsoever, with the performance rendered several years back by veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee in Ray’s Apu trilogy.
Now, the actor is back playing a lover boy in Srijit Mukherji’s black and white romantic saga, X=Prem, which just got released today. Besides an exciting interview, the actor – who commands a massive fan following for his dapper lean look – also obliged us with an exclusive fashion shoot, unveiling four looks from feted designer Rahul Dasgupta’s latest wedding collection, Jashn.
Excerpts from the chat:
Were you expecting the kind of appreciation you received for Avijatrik?
I was really pleasantly surprised. I thought people would be majorly critical but they were majorly appreciative and I feel it impressed them because I tried to be myself and avoid copying actor Soumitra Chatterjee's reprisal of Apu.
I am grateful to filmmakers like Arindam Sil and Subhrajit Mitra for casting me in such memorable roles as Satyakam (Byomkesh) and Apu (Avijatrik).
Tell us about your role in X=Prem?
As you ask me this question, I realise that like my last big-screen release Avijatrik, X=Prem too is in black and white. I play Arnab who is a very calm, mature and composed guy and works in an office. He had a romantic past and was in love with a girl but could never express the same. But that comes back in an interesting way to haunt him.
There are three debutantes in this film including Anindya Sengupta, Shruti Das and Madhurima Basak, who plays my wife. All of them are so mature in their approach, that it never seemed for once that they are debutantes/
This is your first film with Srijit Mukherji. How was the experience?
Srijit was on my wishlist since I saw his debut film Autograph. I heard from people who have worked with him previously that he is known to be a strict taskmaster but my experience has been totally different and I didn't find him strict at all. Yes, I saw him getting angry twice, he was frowning and displeased at times, but I never heard him yelling even for once.
X=Prem is about college life too, did that take back to your own college days?
I have absolutely no fun memories of college b because I have been unsocial for the longest time and couldn't wait to go back home after the classes got over. I had two wonderful friends but apart from them, there are no takeaways from college -- nothing really memorable. But I did bunk a couple of classes to watch movies with my wife, who was my girlfriend then. I remember we watched Rock On together in 2008 when I was in my first year.
What kind of an actor are you?
I am an absolute spontaneous actor. I read the script but I don't overthink the scene when not on set and always go with the flow with director's guidance.
After X=Prem, Khela Jokhon will release, tell us about your role there?
I had always wanted to join the army, so, I got very excited when I was offered the role of an Intelligence officer with an army background in Khela Jokhon. I had fun playing the character and I was excited about everything from the haircut and moustache to the dialogues and screenplay.
What are your other upcoming projects?
There’s Dhrubo Banerjee's Korno Suborner Guptodhan releasing this Puja. My web series Mahabharata Murders just released, where I play a very physically intimidating cop. I will be off to Puri to shoot another web series with Anjan Dutt. It's a murder mystery set in a coastal town and my character's name happens to be Arjun, so, there will be zero confusion in the sets.
Any dream role?
I want to play something along the lines of James Bond... not exactly the same but someone who's a mix of brains and brawns. But it should definitely not be another detective character.
Fashion and Fitness mantras
I am always in my dark grey joggers and t-shirts. For weddings, I prefer to keep it simple with a plain cotton kurta and pyjamas.
I have a passion for physical fitness and I love playing football and lifting weights. Thankfully that helps me be in shape. I am not much of a foodie and have a small appetite, which also helps me to stay fit and lean.
Wed me good / Celebrating indigenous craftsmanship
Kolkata-based menswear designer Rahul Dasgupta shares the details of his latest summer wedding collection.
Tell us in detail about your latest summer wedding edit, Jashn?
Jashn means celebration in Urdu and in this collection we celebrate the age-old Persian embroidery techniques and pay homage to the karigars who are involved with the craft. Colours like yellow, pistachio, peach, ecru, white rule the summer colour palette. We have used fabric like silk, mulmul and chanderi to create classic menswear pieces that can be passed on to next generation. The silhouettes include classic summer-ready options like jodhpuri jackets, achkans and silk kurtas.
How intrinsically has your design philosophy evolved in these two years?
It’s still the same -- to bring Indian archived menswear silhouette on a global platform -- but what has evolved is the understanding and application of it. I have learnt to balance between art and commerce along with what sells and what is just pretty to look at.
What will be trending in men’s wedding wear this year?
Grooms are ready to experiment and are done with cuts and drapes. Now, they want more classic, timeless silhouettes with creative and experimental details that can be worn and repeated. The effort goes more into styling the pieces up in right way. A fresh perspective on men’s fashion can be seen worldwide where gender-neutral clothing is playing a huge role.
This wedding season, white, ecru, cream and champagne colours are going to be in focus along with thread embroidery. More textured and minimally embroidered sherwanis and achkans will be in trend. Open neck, shawl collars are back. You can keep your sherwani and bandi open and wear it in a more relaxed and cool way. The cool dandy look is in.
What will be trending in summer casual wear?
Summer casuals should be in breathable organic fabrics like linen, silk chanderi and mulmul in pastel colours. Relaxed fit trousers, drop shoulder, box fits shirts are the key elements for summer casual this season.
Summer must-haves in a man's wardrobe?
A white linen shirt, linen trousers/shorts, cool accessories like small box bags, big totes, straw hats and visor caps.
Your upcoming collections?
Currently, we are working on a creative surface development technique where we are infusing traditional craft and modern technology without one being overpowered by the other. We are using laser technology with the traditional shibori dying techniques. I am in my violet hair mood currently, so, the collection is inspired by the colour.
Pictures: Siladitya Dutta, assisted by Bipradip Chakraborty / Makeup and hair: Abhijit Paul / Outfits: Rahul Dasgupta / Styling by Aisha Desmukh Chaudhuri / Location courtesy: Hyatt Regency Kolkata