Art-loving Bengali audience may be drying up: Joy Sengupta

Saturday, Jun 18, 2016,12:48 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Kolkata | Actor Joy Sengupta regrets that the Bengali audience is stuck with films having emotional content only. It seems the middle class Bengali audience has been watching and patronising only one kind of cinema – reflecting the middle class emotion, with dollops of sentimentalism and nostalgia and a feel-good factor, the actor, who starred in Govind Nihalani’s Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa, said.

No issue with the success of one genre of Bengali cinema, but why a world class film like ‘Asha Jaoar Majhe’ is not accepted in the same way by the audience in the director’s home turf? Joy feels that films which could mark a real change in Bengali film industry were being ignored.

Why also ‘Teenkahon’, winner of 18 international awards, did not continue in Kolkata theatres? It shows that the art-loving Bengali audience may be drying up, Joy, whose last Bengali small-budget Bengali release Parobas based on Dubai expatriates’ lives also fizzled out at the box office, said.

Pointing out he was positive about the blockbuster success of the emotional genre of Bengali films which was bringing middleclass family audiences, the actor, however added, unconventional films like Bakita Bykatigato, Phoring should equally do well across segments for effecting real change in Bengali film industry but all (the last ones) bombed commercially.

Joy said he had grown up with Mrinal Sen films, Sambhu Mitra’s theatre and Suchitra Mitra’s songs during his formative days in Kolkata. This aesthetic artistic sense gave me a position of strength and not weakness, which is missing in today’s Kolkata.

Asked about his latest assignments, the actor said he was pinning hopes on the Hindi feature film Rough Book directed by Ananth Narayan Mahadevan. The film also features Tannishtha Chatterjee and Amaan Khan in lead roles.

Joy, a self-confessed fan of Bengali theatre group Nandikar and theatre personality Deb Shankar Halder, said that he was currently working on an European series – for Swedish, Italy and German TV – the Delhi shooting part of which was over.