Debutant filmmaker Avijit Sen talks about his film Tonic starring Dev and Paran Bandyopadhyay
Tonic is now running successfully across the city plexes
He is the man behind a few superhit reality shows in Bengali including Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Didi No.1 and Dance Bangla Dance and he gives Raj Kumar Hirani the credit for all the nuances that he has picked up in filmmaking. We are talking about debutant filmmaker Avijit Sen, whose Christmas release Tonic, is running successfully across the city plexes.
"Raj Kumar Hirani has been my mentor since my formative days in filmmaking and I have assisted him in all the Munnabhai films and in the initial period of 3 Idiots' filming apart from a few commercials. Like him, I too specialised in editing and I feel editing plays a very crucial role in filmmaking since you can correct many a flaw on the editing table. All the filmmakers worth their salt gave importance to editing be it Shakti Samanta, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Mrinal Sen or Tarun Majumdar," tells Sen who has a rich experience in the television and film world for almost 15 years, now.
Starring Dev and Paran Bandyopadhyay in the lead, the film tells the story of an overbearing and overprotective son (played by Neel Mukherjee), who tries to control all aspects of his parents' (played by Parna Bandyopadhyay and Shakuntala Barua) lives. Things take a different turn when Tonic (Dev), a tour operator enters their lives and takes the aged parents to Darjiling for their 46th-anniversary celebrations.
"I wrote this story taking a cue from my own life. Over years, I had become extremely overconcerned about my father's wellbeing and as a result, tried to control whatever he did or wanted to do. One day he reminded me how he never controlled my action, instead was always there behind all my aspirations. I realised there are many like me who stifle their parents in the name of concern and that set the ball rolling for Tonic. I think any middle-class Bengali family will be easily able to identify with the characters and the emotions behind the same. It's a family-oriented drama and I think that's what worked in this festive season when everyone wanted to have some fun together," tells Sen.
Avijit has got this knack of telling relatable human stories from Hirani, who always told him that well-scripted life stories always appeal to human emotions.
"But it took me a year to write the script. Also, I always had Dev as the protagonist in my mind since Dev is experimental and loves trying out new things. I, too, love trying new genres and interestingly, Tonic doesn't have any heroine. Instead, the chemistry between Dev and Paran Bandyopadhyay is receiving so much appreciation from both the audience and the critics," he adds.
Sen will be next doing another Bengali film under Atanu Roy Chowdhury's banner and probably with Dev in it. "Right now, I don't want to reveal much, as it's in a very nascent stage," he signs off.