The filmmaker talks about his next big release, setting a trend with dark cinema and never, ever acting again.
Sujoy Ghosh in his own words, is “shi**ing bricks” as he awaits the release of Kahaani 2, his first film since the game-changing Kahaani in 2012. Did he think Kahaani would become such a vital film? “No! That’s not how films are made — at least not by me. I told the story I had to tell. How was I to know it would connect so effectively with the audience? Or that Bob-da, the cold-blooded assassin played by Saswata Chatterjee, would become such a popular character? These are creative occurrences that are never planned and hardly ever executed consciously.”
Ghosh is happy that his film was one of the few that catered to a certain dark and mysterious kind of cinema — like Shoojir Sircar’s Piku, Annirudh Roy Chowdhury’s Pink and Ribhu Dasgupta’s Te3n. Though it didn’t work too well at the box office, Sujoy is very proud of Te3n — a film he produced. “Ribhu did a fantastic job by his presence. His film was cursed by my presence. People expected another Kahaani just because Vidya and Nawaz were in it. Ribhu is a wonderful human being and a terrific director. He will bounce back with another film soon.”
Does he believe he started the trend of these films? “Yes, I’d say we started the movement towards it. But I’d certainly not take any credit for Pink. It’s entirely the director’s own vision. I am just happy to be part of a movement that defines a new genre in Hindi cinema,” says Sujoy, adding that he intends to build the repertoire in that genre. “It’s a genre, not a franchise. I am most certainly going to be doing another Kahaani film,” he states. Incidentally, none of the original cast members except Vidya Balan from Kahaani is repeated in Kahaani 2.
“I wanted new, exciting actors. Arjun Rampal plays another protagonist in Kahaani 2. But he is not paired with Vidya,” he says.
Sujoy, who played a role in Rituparno Ghosh’s Satyenweshi, says he has washed his hands off acting since. So no more onscreen roles? “Never again! It went horribly wrong. I kept telling Rituda I wasn’t right to play Byomkesh Bakshi. If you read the novels by Sharandindu Bandhopadhyay, you would know that the hero is tall, well-built and handsome. I kept asking Rituda from which angle he saw me as tall and handsome. God rest his soul.”
Isn’t he being a tad harsh on himself, we nudge. “I only ‘hear’ of ladies finding me good-looking. No one has come forward to say it to me. Only my wife bears with me. And that too because she has no other choice,” he quips.