Well actually, this would have been my first movie. But it fell behind schedule. Mahua Chakraborty is the debutant director of this film. In Kolkata, a newcomer in this industry often faces many difficulties and lack of support. I have often heard Mahua say, “let this movie take off and then I will have no worries.”
Things were not working out with the production house under which the film was supposed to be made. Eventually, the work was done from another production house. Changes have been made in story, casting and other things as well. Mahua has faced many hurdles, but I always told her that I would be there whenever she wanted to make the film.
A film is a long journey, and once it is completed, you can look back and understand how it has evolved through numerous odds.
How does the final product look?
I think it has come out fantastic. After the final bits, like incorporating background music and editing and so on, the film stands well. Of course, there was a level of uncertainty, given the director was absolutely new. But it got washed away in the movie's premiere.
Those who enjoy watching thrillers or detective movies will certainly love it. Those who watch good quality films, be it experimental or otherwise, have appreciated it. Glamour has earned good reviews. One of them says that after 'Kahaani', this has been a proper thriller and detective movie.
The rest of the cast includes Parambrata Chatterjee, Parno Mittra and Sabyasachi Chakrabarty.
Share some of your experiences working in Glamour?
They take a special interest on Bangladeshis. Speaking from my experience, there were a lot of Bangladeshis in the movie. There were people from Faridpur, Mymensingh, Barisal and Chittagong working at different units. They were very pleased to see me, as someone from their own country.
Even the director's husband was from Faridpur. I went to their house and even cooked them biriyani once! We developed a very strong rapport.
And what difference do you find between the two Bengals?
I think they are much more professional and organised then us. They have a proper plan in whatever they undertake. But we lack vision and planning when starting a project. For example, in Glamour, I was informed that I would have to shoot for around 18 days. And they kept that promise. Sticking to schedules can do wonders for an artist, and the work also becomes productive and good. In that way, an artist can also take mental preparation and plan ahead.
But in our country, this is often not the case. I have heard many senior artists talk about works they started off some years ago which are still awaiting completion, as producers had ran out of money and consequently postponed shooting, waiting for funds.
Our industry has a long way to go. There are many good directors here, but if there was more professionalism and if schedules were maintained, it would really help this sector. Planning, budgeting and promotions ought to be more organised. We have many young talented and keen artists. If directors work more actively regarding these issues, this industry can grow further.
With you being busy in films, how often can we expect to see you in television?
I have always been very selective when working in television. The works that I have undertaken have been handpicked. I can tell you in detail about each and every one of them. I have only embarked upon projects when I really felt the script is promising.
But I want to add here that I have cultivated a passion for films since my childhood. I never thought that I would come to this industry. Now that I am here, I have many plans about it. I also want to explore direction, but of course, only after studying it properly -- then I'll be ready.
What about ramp modeling?
Ramp modelling has a special place in my heart. When you are at the stage, in front of live audience, everything else becomes subdued and secondary. I can never imagine not walking on the ramp.
In the overall media sector, there is probably some gap in communication or understanding between its different branches or segments. What I am trying to say is, many clients who hire models now think that I might not be interested to work for them anymore or they might think twice before approaching, since I am now in a different field. But this is actually not the case. I am indeed very much enthusiastic about modelling.
Tell us about your family life. Your husband, Munsur Ali, is based in London. So how does it work out?
Family is my first priority. Of course, I love my work; and of course I will continue working -- but tending to the family is of paramount importance. so I am constantly moving to and fro from Dhaka and London. I feel it is important that the husband and wife live together. We are trying to organise our life, and there are a few Dhaka-centric plans. The relationship with Dhaka, obviously, will never entirely cease to exist.
Interviewed by Rafi Hossain and
narrated by M H Haider