‘Even Al Pacino would have felt the same pressure’

Arifin Shuvoo plays Bangladesh leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the biopic ‘Mujib’

‘Even Al Pacino would have felt the same pressure’

Bangladeshi actor Arifin Shuvoo knew he had a huge task ahead when he was cast as the iconic Bangladesh leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Shyam Benegal’s ‘Mujib: The Making of a Nation’. For over three years of filming, he felt like the eyes of 30 crore Bengalis were fixed on him, as if they were waiting to judge every aspect of his performance as Mujib, fondly known as Bangabandhu. “Every day for nearly three and a half years, I woke up under tremendous pressure,” he said.

Shuvoo made a powerful comparison between his time working on ‘Mujib’ and the extreme pressure one might feel inside a concentration camp’s gas chamber. “There was no way to escape the pressure. Even a great actor like Al Pacino would have felt the same pressure I experienced during those three years,” said Shuvoo, who made his debut in Tollywood with ‘Ahaa Re’ in 2019.

The actor finally breathed a sigh of relief when the film was released in theaters on October 13 in Bangladesh. “It was initially released in 48 theaters and by the third day, it had expanded to 161 halls,” said the actor, who will soon be seen in Arindam Sil’s ‘Unishe April’.

‘Mujib’ is made under the first co-production treaty between the two countries, jointly produced by the National Film Development Corporation of India and the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation. Mujib’s daughter, Sheikh Hasina, the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh, saw the film during its release in her country and was overwhelmed with the way it has been made. She also played a pivotal role in shaping Shuvoo’s understanding of Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation.

Meanwhile, Shuvoo can’t stop praising the legendary director, Shyam Benegal. “Working with him is a lifetime experience. Whether it’s a short scene or a long five-page one, it’s always a one-take shot for him,” said the actor, who is happy with the response to the film in India.

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