Raima Sen’s The Japanese Wife releases today. She speaks on apprehensions of awaiting a release, her uncanny resemblance to granny Suchitra Sen and her sister-connect with Riya.
I believe you have just wrapped up a film with Rituparno Ghosh.
Yes, it’s titled Asamapt. I’ve been travelling a lot for it. It’s just been two days since we wrapped up.Aparna Sen’s The Japanese Wife has been doing rounds of festivals for sometime, but didn’t have an immediate theatrical release.
Doesn’t that make you apprehensive?
When I do a film, I would ideally want it to release immediately. Delay is always disappointing. But then, in case of The Japanese Wife, I was happy it was being shown at festivals, people knew about it. Ideally, a film should never miss its pre-release buzz.
Are there more films of yours that are stuck?
Yes, there’s Meridian and Mumbai Cutting that are ready, but haven’t released. I feel apprehensive about these two films because they’d have missed the buzz by the time they release.
You missed Nauka Doobi with Riya Sen.
Yeah, it’s been ready for a while. It should release ideally by the first half of this year.
You have very few dialogues in The Japanese Wife?
Yeah, but the role is pivotal. I have to largely emote during the silences and the pauses. I’m playing a widow who moves into the teacher’s (Rahul Bose) house with her son. Obviously, she’s had unfulfilled desires, given that she became a widow at an early age. She gets close to the teacher too.
Konkona Sen Sharma was supposed to play the same part?
Yeah, but her mother chose me to play it. Later, when she saw the film, she really liked my work and was happy that her mother was more convinced about casting me than casting her.
Are you and Konkona friends?
Yes, we are. We don’t hang around together too often, but we interact on the social level all the time. We invite each other at our places for functions and get-togethers.
Apparently, Riya (sister) and you have done a film based on a Rabindranath Tagore story.
Yeah, Riya and I were supposed to do The Bong Connection, but she couldn’t do it. Now, we’ve done this film together and it should release in May this year with Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary.
Are you happy doing one-off Hindi films?
Of course I am. I have a substantial career in Bengali films. Ninety per cent of the times, I play the leading lady. Life changed after Chokher Bali.
And I’m happier doing diverse, smaller roles in Hindi films, than doing films like C-Kkompany, which don’t really do anything for my career.
What’s the update on Mirch?
It stars a lot of multiplex actors, including Konkona Sen Sharma. I’ve finished shooting for it. Let’s hope it releases without any delay! Fingers crossed!
On granny Suchitra Sen
I adore the comparisons with my granny. I’m compared to her a lot in Kolkata. Initially, it would bug me because everyone would say I look and act like her, which I wasn’t even trying to do. Later, I realised it’s actually a compliment, because it’s natural. It was her birthday this week. I lunched and chatted with her. She doesn’t watch our movies and TV, but she’s updated on what each one is up to.
‘Riya is unaffected’
Riya would often get worked up with all the gossip making rounds about her, the link-ups, the works. My mum (Moon Moon Sen) had been through similar situations when she was our age. She looked after Riya and got her out of that ‘rattled’ state.