Actor Koel Mallick on her Puja release Bony and why she is happy being a hands-on mom
Bony releases in theatres on October 10
For three years in a row now, Tollywood star Koel Mallick is ruling the box office during the Pujas. The last two Pujas saw her movies Mitin Mashi and Rawkto Rawhoshyo impress the audience. This year too, she is back with Bony, a sci-fi tale around a mysterious newborn. Directed by actor Parambrata Chatterjee, the film, adapted from a story by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, has been extensively shot in the exotic locales of Italy and revolves around an expat couple and their unusual newborn baby. We catch up with Koel to talk about the movie that releases in theatres on October 10.
It will be the third consecutive year that you will be having a puja release. How excited are you?
I am extremely excited about having a Puja release because it brings back a lot of nostalgia for me. Pujas are always about good food, pandal hopping and watching newly-released Bengali films and it definitely feels awesome to be a part of the slew of Puja film releases, that too for the third consecutive year.
Tell us about your role in Bony and how you prepared for it?
I play Pratibha, a senior bio-scientist who works in Italy and lives there with her husband Sabyasachi (played by Parambrata). I feel so honoured to be a part of a film based on one of Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay’s novels, since we all have grown up reading his stories and I have always been so awestruck watching films based on his books. So, I just went with the flow of the character, since it is so well etched out.
It’s a flesh and blood character with so many layers. Pratibha is a woman who has been trying to be a mom for long and when she finally becomes a mom, she realizes that something is not right with her newborn son. No matter how intelligent she is, she is not being able to unravel the truth, mystery or conspiracy behind it and so, I had to reflect that struggle hidden underneath. I loved enacting that part where she gets to know that her son is not really okay, the way she gets shattered and how she deals with the same. It was so well-scripted.
In Rawkto Rawhoshyo, you played a mom in search of her child; here too, you are out protecting your newborn. In real life too you have become a mom, and you are in love with playing new-age moms, it seems…
Yeah, in fact, it’s an interesting coincidence that quite a few roles that I have been playing of late are new moms. In Rawkto Rawhoshyo, Swarnaja’s struggle was different. In Bony, Pratibha’s struggle is to free her son and also about knowing the truth behind it. I think I am in love with mom roles, especially ever since I am a hands-on mom in real life. It definitely feels special. Being a mom gives a different shape to a character.
You last worked with Parambrata in Sagardwiper Jawker Dhon but in this, you are playing a married couple and he is the director too. How is he as a co-star and as a director?
I am doubly excited to work with him as a director and as a co-actor. As an actor, he is extremely helpful in elevating a scene together and discussing things before a shoot. As a director too, he is very passionate about his job and has absolute clarity of vision, the angles and dimensions of the camera and lenses used and what frames he wants to use. He has a very scientific approach to it and it was great working with him. He is very polite and when things go wrong on sets, he is politely stern with people.
Despite the glum last year, Rawkto Rawhoshyo was appreciated. How hopeful are you that this time people will flock to the theatres?
I am so grateful that people like our films despite the difficult times during the pandemic. Both my Puja release Rawkto Rawhoshyo and Poila Baisakh release Flyover (this year), were liked by the audience. Thankfully, things are much better now and it’s so good to see crowds in the malls and people returning to normalcy. So, I am more hopeful that they will return to theatres in greater numbers during festival times. But at the same time, I want them to be safe and healthy and take all the precautions to prevent infection.
Your upcoming projects?
I haven’t started shooting for any film yet. I am enjoying being a hands-on mom, happily chasing my son, Kabir. It’s a continuous cardio exercise running after him, he doubles up for my treadmill time. I will only say yes to scripts that are worth my time of staying away from my son. The films have to be good enough to take me back to work; otherwise, my focus is completely on my son.