Saswata Chatterjee lives his dream in Hobu Chandra Raja Gobu Chandra Mantri
Directed by Aniket Chattopadhyay, the film stars Arpita Chatterjee and Kharaj Mukherjee in the lead alongside Saswata.
Last year, despite the gloom, actor Saswata Chatterjee impressed the audience with a varied bouquet of films including Chobiyal, Shironam and Dil Bechara. This year too, he is back during the Pujas with a Bengali folk-fairy tale Hobu Chandra Raja Gobu Chandra Mantri. Adapted from classic Bengali fantasy folklore written by Dakshina Ranjan Mitra, this big-budget film has been directed by Aniket Chattopadhyay and stars Arpita Chatterjee and Kharaj Mukherjee in the lead alongside Saswata. We talk to the actor to get a glimpse of the same.
Do you think people will return to theatres given the third wave warning?
The third wave of the pandemic is still a distinct and unnerving possibility but I see no dearth of a crowd in the bars, restaurants or open fields and hence it defies my logic why cinemas won’t draw crowds? I don’t find any reason not to watch cinema in the theatres if proper protocols are maintained.
Tell us about your role in Hobu Chandra Raja Gobu Chandra Mantri?
I thoroughly enjoyed filming this children’s fantasy because we no longer think of, or write such funny, fantasy tales that have kings and queens in them. We have almost forgotten all those gripping bedtime fairy tales told by our grandmothers and I always had this in the back of my mind to play such a character. So, I was absolutely thrilled while playing King Hobu Chandra. I rode an elephant, got driven in a chariot and ruled from a throne, so, it was a dream-come-true role for me. I play this ideal king of an ideal kingdom, who lives with his queen and rules from the heart.
Do you think things will look up for Bengali cinema in 2022?
I feel it’s also our job to make such movies that will pull the audience back to the theatres. There should be more films made like Hobu Chandra that are shot on such a grand scale that the audience will miss out on most of the things if they watch it on television.
Your upcoming projects?
There are three Hindi movies that are ready for release, namely Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Bad Boy, Anurag Kashyap‘s Netflix original Dobaaraa and Raazneesh Ghai’s debut film Dhaakad starring Kangana Ranaut. There are also a few Bengali films including Saibal Mitra’s Tokhon Kuasha, Ayan’s Shararipu 2, Kamaleswar Mukherjee’s Anusandhan and Arindam Sil’s Tirandaj Shabar.
You are also in talks to play politician Madan Mitra?
I only had preliminary talks with Madan Mitra and the script isn’t ready yet. But whatever much we have seen of him, he comes across as an extremely colourful personality and I am sure that will make for a great film.