Millennium Post

Not necessary to become the character you portray: Soumitra Chatterjee

Kolkata: Dadasaheb Falke recipient Soumitra Chatterjee, who is essaying the role of an Alzheimer's patient in the Bengali film 'Sraboner Dhara', said it is not necessary to become the character itself during shooting.

The actor, having a career spanning over six decades, told reporters at the 25th Kolkata International Film Festival on Wednesday that his experience of having seen various people suffering from Alzheimer's disease helped him portray the character.

"In my view, it is not necessary to become an Alzheimer's affected person to portray such a role. If I have to go deep into the inner self of a character, to turn into the character as the camera rolls, then I have to be actually dead while enacting a death scene," the 84-year-old actor said.

Chatterjee said he had read the short story by Dr Subhendu Sen about the loneliness of an Alzheimer's patient and how he sees the world.

"When I was told by directors Susdeshna Roya and Abhijit Guha about the film's storyline, which is inspired by Sen's story, I immediately agreed to do the film," he said.

He also narrated how he drew from experience while portraying the character.

"I had seen many people suffering from Alzheimer's disease. I had the chance to interact with their families. May be these experiences helped me when I was working out the scenes before the camera. But it is not important to become the character and come out of the shell later on," he explained.

Parambrata Chatterjee essays the role of a young doctor who becomes the companion in the dementia-affected elderly person's life in the films.

"We have a tendency to trivialise the situation of a person without realising his or her pains and sufferings.

'Sraboner Dhara' seeks to debunk the misconception about certain illness," Parambrata said.

The film, which is competing in the Asian Select section of the KIFF and screened on Wednesday, is eyeing a release early next year.

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