Bengali cinema is more content-driven, says actor Prosenjit Chatterjee

  • Kaushani Banerjee, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 27, 2016 19:26 IST
Prosenjit Chatterjee made his film debut in Bollywood with Aandhiyan (1990), but he went back to his home turf after a rough start.

Actor Prosenjit Chatterjee, who has more than 350 films to his credit, is often considered the face of Bengali cinema. The actor is no stranger to Bollywood either. In the recent past, he has been seen in films like Shanghai (2012) and Traffic.

What many people don’t know is that the actor made his film debut in Bollywood with Aandhiyan (1990), but he went back to his home turf after a rough start.

Talking about coming back to Bollywood, he says, “I never wanted to work in Bollywood. I never even tried. I only did a couple of films in the beginning of my career. The main reason I didn’t work in Bollywood was due to the tremendous pressure on me in Bengal. But now, things are different. The roles are being offered to me interest me. So, I couldn’t turn down the offers.”

Read: Prosenjit all set direct a film after a gap of 18 years

Home ground
As the actor’s latest film is set for an all-India release, he highlights the importance of “regional films.”. “Regional industries are growing. There is a language barrier, but things are changing drastically for Bengali cinema. If a film is good, it is being watched by non-Bengali audiences too. This is the time to take risks because Bengalis are spread across the country, but we are unable to reach out to them because of the distribution network, which isn’t as good as Bollywood’s.”

Comparing both the industries, Prosenjit says that Bengali cinema is “more content-driven than Bollywood”. “Content is our USP. Bengal has always produced good cinema, be it Satyajit Ray or Ritwik Ghatak. Interestingly, Marathi and Malayalam cinema also has great content these days,” he adds.

Read: Traffic review: Tight script, stellar performances make it a must-watch

On politics
While a lot of Bengali actors have taken active interest in state politics, Prosenjit has managed to shy away from the glare. When asked about his political aspirations, the 53-year-old says, “I was not born for politics. I am a wholesale entertainer. I don’t know politics; it’s not one of my strong points. I’ll never be part of that world.”

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