Aparna Sen on her latest project, The Japanese Wife and more...
Let’s start with The Japanese Wife. How and when did you decide to work on Kunal Basu’s unpublished story?
Kunal and I were working on another project when one day he narrated this story to me. I fell for it like a ton of bricks. It’s an enchanting tale of the relationship between a school teacher in the Sunderbans and a Japanese girl.
Was Basu a part of the project during scripting?
We didn’t collaborate but I used to send him the script from time to time. He loves it.
We don’t see Konkona in the film….
(Laughs) I don’t think it’s obligatory for me to cast Konkona in every project of mine.
But Rahul Bose seems to be a favourite…
Hmmm…well… Rahul is an actor I rely on. He allows me to break him and then mould him the way I like. There is a give-and-take relationship.
Shooting in three places (Japan, Kolkata and Sunderbans), working with a foreign crew and an actor who doesn’t understand English — is this the most challenging film you’ve done?
I did tag my direction experience in Japan as Lost in Translation (laughs). Jokes apart, I really don’t think that way. I prefer not to start a project worrying about how things will be done and whether it’s a challenge or not. My policy is, “let’s go and find out what happens”.
Are you satisfied with your repertoire?
I am not at all satisfied with the kind of work I’ve done. I am self-critical.
You mean you could point mistakes in Mr & Mrs Iyer?
I could. But I am obviously not going to tell you about it.