Bollywood bound Bengali stars

June 7, 2012

There is sudden surge of Bengali actors in Bollywood cinema after the box-office success of Vidya-Balan-starrer, “Kahaani” and Paoli Dam’s “Hate Story”.
While in the past, stray forays in Hindi films have been made by Uttam Kumar, Suchitra Sen, Biswajeet and Moushumi Chatterjee, at least four to five actors from Bengali cinema seems to have found a good audience response to their roles in Hindi films.
“Kahaani” director Sujoy Ghosh plans to bring Vidya Balan back as Bidya Bagchi in a sequel, while Kolkata and the Bengali stars are set to become more important.
“Kahaani” has been praised for good performance by supporting characters played by Bengali actors like Saswata Chatterjee and Parambrata Chatterjee, the grandson of the legendary filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak.
Saswata’s portrayal of a poker-faced contract killer won him many fans and made him an online craze while Parambrata’s turn as a cop was appreciated.
Apart from “Kahaani”, Vikram Bhatt’s much-talked about film “Hate Story” marked the debut of Paoli Dam, another Bengali actress. She created ripples with her bold scenes in the Vivek Agnihotri-directed movie.
“It is every actor’s dream to work in Bollywood. I want to do more films here. If I get good and interesting projects in Bengali then I would definitely do so,” Paoli said.
Bengali superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee, who left Bollywood after the failure of “Aandhiyaan” and “Meet Mere Man Ke”, is returning to Hindi cinema after two decades with Dibakar Banerjee’s political thriller “Shanghai”.
Prosenjit is playing the role of a social activist. Dibakar says though it is not a big role, Prosenjit’s presence permeates the entire movie.
“It took me three months to convince him [Prosenjit]. He wanted to be very sure before he did anything outside the Bengali film because it would be his first Hindi film after a long time,” Dibakar said.
Exploring the dark side of politics and corruption, “Shanghai” is about the dream of turning Indian cities into Shanghai overnight.
Dibakar feels it is not easy for superstars of regional language cinema of India to break into Bollywood and this is why they hesitate to star in Hindi films.
“Anybody who comes from regional cinema…for him or her to break through the very insular star system of Bollywood is not easy. When you are respected as the number one in own film industry it’s difficult to sort of accept the fact that you are seen as a new entrant to this industry. That’s where true courage comes in and Prosenjit has it in him,” the director of “Khosla Ka Ghosla” said.

-With The Daily Star input

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