Saayoni Ghosh on director Raj Chakraborty - ‘Friend, philosopher, guide and mentor’

The actor-turned-TMC leader has reunited with the director for ‘Abar Proloy’, a Bengali crime thriller web series

Saayoni Ghosh on director Raj Chakraborty - ‘Friend, philosopher, guide and mentor’

Today, she is the Trinamool Congress’ youth wing president, but in 2011, Saayoni Ghosh played the sister of Nusrat Jahan in Raj Chakraborty’s directorial ‘Shotru’. It was followed by ‘Kanamachi’ and ‘Proloy Ashche’ - both helmed by Raj. These ventures made Saayoni a dependable name in the Bengali film industry.

Across a span of 13 years as an actor, Saayoni has gracefully done films and web series. Nevertheless, her bond with Raj remains profound. Saayoni considers him her ‘friend, philosopher, guide and mentor’. The actor-turned-TMC leader has reunited with Raj after a long time for ‘Abar Proloy’, a Bengali crime thriller web series. Praising the director, Saayoni told ‘Millennium Post’, “Raj’s influence has been instrumental in shaping my relevance within the film industry. For this, I hold a deep sense of gratitude towards him.”

Saayoni’s admiration for Raj is understandable, as she elaborates on their professional connection. “Raj is a director for whom I would readily commit to any project. Whether it involves dubbing for a heroine or playing a brief role, I am game. Throughout life’s journey, I firmly believe in acknowledging those who have contributed to your progress. Raj’s impact on my life goes beyond his directorial role. He stands as a significant presence in my personal growth as well,” said the ‘Rajkaahini’ and ‘Antaraal’ actor.

Recently, her film ‘Aparajito’, in which she played Bimala Roy, a character inspired by Satyajit Ray’s wife Bijoya Ray, was screened in Singapore. Saayoni was unable to attend the screening due to her political commitments. In a composed manner, she said, “Travel isn’t a feasible option for me at the moment. With the upcoming 2024 election, I am entrusted with responsibilities that demand my attention.”

Before she entered politics, there was a time when Saayoni even shot 14 films in a year. But politics is keeping her busy, especially in her role as TMC state youth president. “At that time, emphasis was often on quantity rather than quality. But after joining politics, I made a conscious choice to do only films worth doing. So, now I am looking for quality roles,” she said.

Looking at the poster of ‘Abar Proloy’, which has a dynamic ensemble of actors, Saayoni spoke about the limited scope the Bengali film industry offers for ‘actors in her age bracket’. “The industry seems to possess a certain mindset. It’s noticeably rare to find characters tailored for female actors like in Abar Proloy,” she said.

People point out that films like ‘Binodiini’ and ‘Drapaudi’ are being made with female leads. “If people want to see the same face, then it’s entirely up to the audience. But if I have to talk about ‘actresses’, then there are a lot of them who need to be explored,” she said.

An avid watcher of web series, Saayoni said it’s now difficult to make people come to the theatres. “Since the advent of OTT, the way audiences consume content has changed. The urge to step into the theatres is also declining. While films like ‘Aparajito’, ‘Projapoti’ and ‘Ardhangini’ continue to draw audiences to cinema halls, people are also relishing the convenience of enjoying content from the comfort of their homes,” she signed off.

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