Prosenjit Chatterjee on his 50th pairing with Rituparna Sengupta in Ajogyo, “I think the audiences have a huge contribution to our screen chemistry” : Bollywood News

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Ajogyo is superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee’s 50th film with Rituparna Sengupta. This is some kind of world record. Said Prosenjit, “I am not very sure about the world record, but yes, for Indian cinema it has been a huge, big thing, working together for 50th film, which is obviously Ayogyo. It is doing quite well. But I always think that this chemistry or this expectation from the audience is from the audience because I don’t believe that any actor or actresses can just do 50 films together as an actor if audience doesn’t like us. I think the audiences have a huge contribution to our screen chemistry.”

Prosenjit Chatterjee on his 50th pairing with Rituparna Sengupta in Ajogyo, “I think the audiences have a huge contribution to our screen chemistry”

He added, “When we used to do normal mainstream films where we used to do song, dance, this kind of a film, where I think the people used to go really gaga to see both of us. There were a few films featuring us which have been record hits and the songs are till today big hits on YouTube and all. But I think it is audience and the director who always thought these two actors can come together and make magic on screen. And I think that what made us do another so many films together.”

At one point Rituparna and Rituparna stopped working together. “Yeah, then we took a break for some time because as you know very well that I had shifted myself from regular mainstream cinema to a different cinema, especially from Srijit Mukherjee’s Autograph. Then I started a very new journey. It was the same with Ritu also. She had done some very important characters and important roles, which is more of a mature actress kind of a thing. So, I think both created a very different image to the audience individually. So, after a long time when we came together in Praktan, it was after a gap of around 13-14 years. Then also the audience came to watch both of us on screen and which carried forward from Praktan to Drishtikon, from Drishtikon to Ajogyo today.”

“So, when I visited some of the theatres in Kolkata recently after release of Ajogyo, people were shouting when our fifty-first film together will be releasing,” said the actor. “So, I think this is something we just can’t explain in a way like how really it happened. But I personally feel that we both are very, very professional. And in a way, I will say that because you will understand. When I used to do absolutely hardcore mainstream cinema, she did Dohon where she got the National Award with director Rituparno Sengupta. I also have taken those chances when I used to do mainstream cinema, side by side doing Choker Bali or Utsav kind of a film. So, and later on with Gautam Ghosh and Buddhadev Dasgupta also. I think as an actor, we somewhere had made people understand that we are just not into mainstream cinema.”

The two of them seem to have a parallel career. Prosenjit agreed saying, “Yeah, I got the National Award for Doshor. She got national award for Dohon. Both were directed by Rituparno Sengupta. So we shared an affinity to a different kind of cinema and different kind of image also. We had tried our best to give our best to do something very different. But when we came on screen as a mainstream actor, it is like in Bengali, the producer used to say, I’m talking about 20-25 years back, that this pair is our Lakshmi kind of a thing. So, whenever they come together, we are safe. So, as you know business is also which matters. So, that’s from the perspective of the producers or the director.”

He added, “So I think that is the magic we created for years. And I think today the audience have changed. The theatres have changed. The new audience have come back. I’m sure 30 years back, the people who used to watch our films, now they have become senior people and maybe their children are coming to see us. So there’s a huge big crowd coming nowadays. But they have not seen us regularly doing all those mainstream cinema in the past. So it’s a new crowd, a new audience for us who have also in a way accepted us, both of us on the screen. I think it is audience who have given us the courage always, the love. I think that is the biggest chemistry what I can say and the professionalism from our both. We both are very, very, very professional, thorough professionals.”

When I dub Prosenjit and Rituparna Sengupta as the Uttam Sengupta and Suchitra Sen of this millennium, Prosenjit protested saying, “To be honest, Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen are a class apart, and they are like, at least from our side, we see them as an era. Of course, they were one of the hit pair on screen and we can never be compared with them. Yeah, though people say we are the last vital Bengali screen pair kind of a thing. But I believe in future also there will be boys and girls who will do fantastic job. Yes, but we are very happy that we had able to, it’s a blessing of God and the audience. Rituparna and I have been able to carry forward the legacy of Uttam-Suchitra or my dad (yesteryears’ superstar Biswajit) and Sandhya Rao. They were also a very big hit pair, like Soumitra Chatterjee-Aparna Sen. So, like, it’s a kind of a, you know, carrying forward the legacy.”

He added, “We are blessed in that way. And honestly speaking, can I share something with you, sir? Rituparna was much junior to me. When she came on screen, I was like, I was established in my own way, and I was already a big star. So, when I first started working, it was just like working with any other new girl. And so, in all her interviews, mostly she says I have learned a lot from this man. So having an experienced co-star works sometime. And no, it is not like that. Yeah, we are good friends, but I will not say it’s friendship. It’s more like a guru-shishya kind of a relationship. Till now, she believes that I am a very technical person. I understand cinema. I go deep into it. So, that helps both of us. So, when we work together, I am an actor always, not only for Ritu, I’m talking about anybody.”

“I try to do a lot of homework for both of us,” he said. “I think we both share a lot as professionals. At the same time, we know that we have a responsibility because the audience have given us that responsibility. So, we have to be the best. So, we try to do our best. So in a way, yeah, we share a very, very good relationship. And it is not, I will say, exactly friendship. It is something which people have, like, they have a lot of people, as you understand very well, there are a lot of gossip, there are a lot of things have happened for years. I’m talking about maybe 20, 15, 18, 17 years back.”

Prosenjit added, “So, all of those, apart from that, but we are been, you know, working as a very, very professional people coming together and giving our best on the screen. And ultimately for us, the audience is our God. So trying to make them happy. They come with a lot of expectations. So that is our focus area. And individually also, I’ve seen Ritu, she also understands cinema. And I, as a person, as you know very well, I only belong to cinema and I live with it, I drink with it, I sleep with it. So, I think that is the most important thing.”

Prosenjit revealed why Rituparna took a while to do another film together after Praktan. “After Praktan, we decided that we will take a gap of at least two and a half, three years to do our next. And this Ajogyo took a little time because of the pandemic. So, we were back with the 50th film. And I think, as you know, Kaushik Ganguly is one of those finest directors we have. I will rather say not only in Bangla, but also in Indian cinema. So, he’s a very, very great director. He has his own audience. He understands the pulse of the Bengali emotions. And so, to work with Kaushik is, as it is, has always been a challenge. So I have worked in around five, six films with him. And all those films are really good. And he understands me.”

The actor added, “So I think for this particular film, we, Ritu and I decided Kaushik Ganguly should direct the film. With two actors have a collective heft, you also need to have a director who can take our pair to another level. So, I think for me, for both of us, Kaushik Ganguly’s film was very important because it was our 50th film. So, we were very conscious and we took nearly about one and a half years to finalise the script.”

“And Kaushik normally doesn’t take so much of time,” added Prosenjit. “He’s a great writer. He’s a great script writer, but he really took very… This film has been done with a lot of love from the production side. I think we have done, me and Ritu had done so many films with them when we used to do mainstream cinema, commercial cinema. But when we had come to the situation when we are doing our 50th, everybody took a lot of care in this film. Three big music directors, who are really big music directors, normally they don’t do, but they all came together to compose the music. So they all came together to celebrate our 50th film. So that was very important.”

He added, “And of course, finally it is the story and the script. And my character’s name is Prosen. And Ritu’s character’s name is Parna. And there is another character which is played by a great singer -actor Shilaji with the husband character. I think the story we understood will cater for all kind of an audience. The Bengali audience, especially the people, we get in the audience as more of a family audience. So, and it has, with the blessing of God, it has been done. People have come and watched it and they liked it. The love from the entire unit, I will say rather. They have taken so much of care to do this film.”

History of sorts was created at the Ajogyo premiere? “At the Ajogyo premiere, my son was there, the next generation. Rituparna’s daughter was there. She came from Singapore. So, there was a beautiful picture that the next generation. So it’s like a family. But yeah, we have a very, very, I mean, very nice, good, warm relationship we share till now. So it was like, initially it was like I was a senior person. Then of course, Ritu also achieved a lot. So we are more like a friend, but the friendship comes alive when we work or in front of camera. And for us, that’s the most important thing,” said Prosenjit.

Also Read: Bengali onscreen couple Prosenjit Chatterjee and Rituparna Sengupta reunited for 50th time in Ajogyo


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