Pipra Bidda seems to be all that's anyone talking about in the world of showbiz lately. And for a good reason too. First and foremost, it's by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki. That alone guarantees that the movie will be worth something. It's nothing like its predecessor film “Television”. Farooki has managed to weave a tale that is completely different from anything he has done before. If you've seen it, then you know what we are talking about. If you haven't seen it yet, then you need to head over to the cinema halls right now. Pipra Bidda is an immensely real take on life. Star Showbiz recently caught up with Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, Sheena Chohan and Nur Imran Mithu to learn a bit more about this incredible film.
MOSTAFA SARWAR FAROOKI
I have a habit. As soon as I finish something, I am already planning for the next thing I will do in my mind. After finishing Television, I was thinking of doing something new. No Land's Man was one of those projects, but at that time I wasn't ready to take on such an ambitious project as that film would require shooting in many different places around the globe. So I decided that I wanted to do something smaller, and one with a bit of a filmy flair. The result is Pipra Bidda.
My inspiration for the film came from the community itself. Sure, we see and hear only the success of others. In fact, the need for success is driven to our heads from a very early age. Rhymes about how education leads to money and happiness can be a motivation; although whether good or bad is the concern. And society also becomes a factor. Whoever is successful is lauded whereas someone who isn't will be reminded of his failures constantly. And this can lead to all kinds of paths of desperation. I have seen many of these unfortunate people in my life, and I have seen their suffering, their pain and their desperation. With this film, I wanted to capture this kind of personality and bring to life all these emotions that they feel every day. I wanted to capture the desire of this “ant” whose dream is soar in the sky like an “eagle”. Once I came up with this story, I developed the script for it. I always try and make each new project I undertake as different from the last as I can. The same thing applies for this as well. However, there is a philosophical trait with this and my last film Television; in that they both involve loosing themselves into a make believe world. What both these films try to ask is: Which world do we love more? The real world where we live and breathe? Or the world we can create in our minds? Television portrayed this at the very last scene where the character Chairman Amin embraced the image of Mecca shown in the Television and believed himself to be there as well, performing Hajj, rather than the reality of being in a hotel room in Old Dhaka. Pipra Bidda features a similar philosophical situation as well where the person has created his own fantasy world so that he can escape his failures and pretty soon, starts to believe in this fantasy. I must confess though, that I didn't exactly plan this to be some sort of sequel or anything; it just turned out like it is because it just came to me like this.
The whole idea for this story didn't just come to me out of the blue. It came from our society and our culture. Everyone loves to create a fantasy. It seems to be in our very nature. Just take a stroll down to a tea stall and you will see how everyone tries to make everyone else believe the little lies they create about themselves! Yes. You may say that creating fantasies isn't something prevalent only in Bangladesh. But my film tries to portray that issue in the Bangladeshi context.
I always try and aim my work towards the youth, because they want change as much as I do. Believe me, the marketing for my film is done by my audiences online. Unlike India, we don't have such an enormous budget to blow on marketing for films. The moment we launched the trailer, it had 200,000 views in a very short time. For me that's amazing! It shows that the youth who wants change has accepted me as part of that change process and is helping to promote my film so that more and more can join this movement.
I would also like to address something here that I am sure is in the mind of every one of my audiences; why was Sheena Chohan cast for a Bangladeshi film? Many may think that it's probably because I wanted this film to be successful in India. But if that's the case, then I would have chosen a more mainstream actress of the Indian film industry. But that's not the case. I first saw her in BPL, where she was an anchor. Now I love cricket and whenever I am working, I take small breaks to watch cricket and there I saw her and for me, it just clicked. I felt that she would suit the script perfectly. I know she wasn't acting in BPL but then again, I don't cast exactly like that. I see people's expressions, their eyes and the way they talk.
Sheena Chohan may not be a familiar face, but that has changed after her performance in Pipra Bidda. This stunning beauty hails from Calcutta, where she has already made a name for herself as a handpicked contestant for the Miss India Universe contest, where she even won the “I am Voice” contest. She did a lot of theater work and first debuted in “The Train”, directed by Jayaraj. Her next two films were under National Award winning Director Buddhadeb Dasgupta. While anchoring for the BPL, she was spotted by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki and then cast for her fourth film and her first film in Bangladesh.
Did you like working here?
I love Bangladesh and I loved working in a Bangladeshi film. Working in Pipra Bidda was immensely fun and challenging for me. I hope to continue filming here because the amount of love I have received from the audience here is simply unforgettable.
Did you enjoy working with Mostofa Sarwar Farooki?
He is a wonderful and a brilliant director and working with him has been an absolute pleasure. The great thing about him is that he allows me to soak into the character as naturally as possible and lets me be. With his direction skills, he manages to bring out a natural and spontaneous side of me. If I compare this to my experience with Buddhadeb sir, he is also a great director but he has a set way of how he wants his characters to be and I had to fit myself into his vision.
Will we see you here again in any new films?
Of course! There are very talented directors here and I want to be involved with good cinema of Bangladesh. I am currently going through multiple scripts, so let's see what happens.
NUR IMRAN MITHU
This is Mithu's debut as an actor but he is not a stranger to the world of media. Hailing from Khulna, he dreamed of meeting the man who directed the hit “Third Person Singular”, Mostofa Sarwar Farooki. He tried his best to talk to his hero during the second day of the release at the Balaka Theater. He got a number for an assistant, but he didn't hear from him for quite a while. In this gap, he worked as Assistant Director for television. After five years, he heard back from Farooki who said that he wanted Mithu to star in his new movie “Pipra Bidda”, and with this, his journey in the media truly began.
What do you want to do now?
I honestly want to be a filmmaker. Acting has given me a chance to see how a production is carried out. So I plan to use this experience and when I make a film myself.
Do you plan to act?
It depends. Mostly I would consider it if I think I can portray the character in the script properly.
Catch the uncut version of Showbiz's Cover Interview and more on Radio Shadhin 92.4 FM Every Saturday, 11 PM onwards.
Interviewed by Rafi Hossain and Narrated by S.M. Intisab Shahriyar