‘Tooth Pari’ is a love story with a realistic treatment: Pratim D Gupta

‘Tooth Pari’ is a love story with a realistic treatment: Pratim D Gupta

His ideas in Bengali films have been outlandish, but that didn’t stop him from venturing into unknown territories. Be it ‘Paanch Adhyay’, ‘Shaheb Bibi Golaam’, ‘Ahare Mon’ or ‘Love Aaj Kal Porshu’, journalist-turned-filmmaker Pratim D Gupta has always tried to swim against the tide. His new ‘Netflix’ release, ‘Tooth Pari: When Love Bites’ is not a run-of-the-mill vampire drama. ‘Millennium Post’ chats with the director on vampires, ‘Shaheb Bibi Golaam 2’ and more.

If you are not a fan of the vampire genre, what made you make ‘Tooth Pari’?

I had a one-line idea. The greatest weapon of a vampire is its teeth. So, where will the vampire go in case anything happens to it? My story is about a vampire who visits a human dentist and falls in love.

Did you watch ‘The Vampire Diaries’ or ‘The Twilight Saga’?

I only watched the first part of the ‘Twilight’ series, but not ‘The Vampire Diaries’. Therefore, I didn’t know their world. I liked two films on vampires where they were not treated as supernatural. The first one is the Korean thriller ‘Thirst’ directed by Park Chan-wook and another Swedish film, ‘Let the Right One In’. In both films, the vampires were treated like humans, which I found interesting. ‘Tooth Pari’ is a love story with realistic treatment. I don’t like the mainstream supernatural thriller genre for its absurdities, but ‘Tooth Pari’ won’t make you feel weird about vampires.

You have got a great casting.

Shantanu and Tanya both auditioned. Shruti Mahajan, who casts for Sanjay Leela Bhansali films, helped me. She had already cast Shantanu in ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’. For Shantanu’s character as a dentist, I had auditioned several actors from Bengal, too, but I liked his nervous energy. I liked Tanya’s work in Mira Nair’s ‘A Suitable Boy’. She was trained. Then there’s Tillotama Shome, Revathi, Adil Hussain, Sikander Kher and Saswata Chatterjee.

Post ‘Love Aaj Kal Porshu’ in 2020, you didn’t make any Bengali film. Is there a reason?

I was tired of the process. You make a film and then count tickets on ‘BookMyShow’ to see how many people have watched it. There’s so much scope to make good content-oriented Bengali films, but the business is poor. That’s one of the reasons I moved away from films and concentrated on OTT. Here, there’s no such pressure. The viewers can watch the content whenever they want to. If we can’t promise a big visual experience, then making content for OTT is the right move.

Are you planning ‘Shaheb Bibi Golaam 2’ in Bengali?

Yes, the story is ready, but I am yet to find three good actors for the project. Meanwhile, I have a script for a road film ready and would do a cop drama for OTT.

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