Audience reaction more important than box office: Mainak Bhaumik

Audience reaction more important than box office: Mainak Bhaumik

Mainak Bhaumik’s name is synonymous with youth-centric Bengali films, but he has made films on various themes. He deftly trod the fine line between light-hearted and dark narratives in films like ‘Bedroom’, ‘Bibaho Diaries’ and ‘Take One’. He also handled the intricacies of human relationships in movies like ‘Maach Mishti and More’ and ‘Generation Aami’. However, Mainak adamantly shuns the confinement of labels. “When I started off, I was called a youth-oriented filmmaker. Then, I became someone who makes family-oriented films. But I have also done ‘Chawlochhitro Circus’ and ‘Bornoporichoy’. So, I don’t like the constant labeling that is given to any maker or actor,” he said.

Mainak operates at his own pace. Unlike directors driven by churning out a set quota of films annually, his approach is unhurried. His new film, ‘Cheeni 2’ also happened organically. “I was engrossed in a script that led to the concept of ‘Cheeni 2’. It has happened to me in the past. I start casting when I am in the writing stage. I work in phases. So, there was a phase when I worked with Swastika Mukherjee, Raima Sen and Ritwik Chakraborty. I’m in the Aparajita Auddy phase now,” said the alumnus of the New York Film Academy.

In Mainak’s films, relationships and their intricate dynamics consistently take center stage. He credits his introduction to Bengali films to Rituparno Ghosh, whose works intricately explored interpersonal relationships. This genre, therefore, resonated deeply with him, influencing his affinity for delving into the complexities of human relationships in his own films like ‘Cheeni 2’.

For Mainak, the audience’s response to a film holds greater significance than its box office performance. When confronted with the prevalent notion that box office success often defines a ‘good film’, he pointed out, “ ‘Bornoporichoy’ achieved considerable box office success. However, the audience’s reception wasn’t entirely favorable. As a filmmaker, their reaction holds more weight for me,” said the director of ‘Ekannoborti’. Up next, he wants to explore the horror space in Bengali films.

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