Konkona Sen Sharma is worried. The doting mom has left her son Haroon back in Mumbai and he is running a temperature. Konkona was in Kolkata for a day to promote her upcoming Bengali film, Shesher Kobita, which releases this week.
This year, Konkona has already had two Bengali releases - Sajarur Kanta and Kadambari. Both films have been appreciated by the audiences and Kadambari has gone on to become a huge box-office hit.
As Konkona steps into the shoes of Labanya in Suman Mukhopadhyay's new film, she says how classical roles attract her more than playing a modern woman. The actor speaks to HT about her film choices, AR Murugadoss' next and above all, love.
From Kadambari to Deepa in Sajarur Kanta and now Labanya in Shesher Kobita, whenever directors think of a classical character, you seem to be their first choice.
I have been lucky. I am drawn to classical roles. I think they really suit me. I enjoy playing classical characters over the very generic modern-day woman. They are not very different from one another. These films demand specific time, place and look. I like that very much. I feel there are more characteristics to define when it comes to classical roles. Byomkesh's Sajarur Kanta was a modern-day adaptation. Kadambari is a biopic. It happens to be related to Tagore's early life and Labanya is Tagore's fiction. They are different from one another, but they are all classics.
Not really. I enjoy good, well-made films regardless of the period and the language. I've done few of these period films. Goynar Baksho (directed by her mother-director Aparna Sen) was a period film to a certain extent.
Watch the trailer of Shesher Kobita here:
Did you read the novel?
I did, but after the shooting. I hadn't read it before shooting and I made a conscious decision to go with the script the director had written. Even though he has been faithful to the novel, when you are turning it as a screenplay you have to take certain leaps, at least in visual style. Suman has done that beautifully while remaining faithful to the original text. I took Suman's advice and worked according to the script.
What made you accept the film?
I knew Suman. He is also a friend of my mother (Aparna Sen). I like the kind of work he has done. I knew he would make a decent, quality film.
What's your perception of Labanya, who many Bengalis think is an embodiment of a perfect woman?
I hadn't read the book, so I didn't have any pre-conceived notions of Labanya. While playing the character, I couldn't understand how Labanya fell in love with Amit in the first place. But I think in those days, she wasn't exposed to too many young men. She was quite naïve. She was someone who gave importance to substance over style.
I find it quite strange how Labanya could fall in love with him. I guess she was dazzled. He was charming and witty. I don't think she was exposed to that before. But obviously she had the maturity and sensibility to understand that this is not a good long-term match. Of course, they tried to explore their bohemian notion of love, which was modern in those times.
Read: I haven't read much of Bengali literature: Konkona Sen Sharma
How do you identify love?
You can have all kinds of love in the world. Relationships are not static. They change with time… may be for the better or worse. I think in a mature relationship you should be able to handle it. There are some things which are meant to drift off. I think change is something which people are scared of. They like something which they are familiar with. I think one has to be open to change.
Yes. After Mr and Mrs Iyer, Rahul became a family friend. He is friends with both maa and me. I have done Hindi films with him too. We have an easy camaraderie. He is very funny. At least with me he doesn't take himself seriously. He is always cracking jokes.
Watch Kadambori trailer here:
In Anant Mahadevan's next film, which is based on freedom fighter Gour Hari Das, you play the role of his aged wife.
This was the first film I did after my son Haroon was born and the film is releasing now. This is the strangest things about films. Films take a long time to release. That was quite a challenge I took on. I met Laxmi Das, Gour Hari Das' wife, a few times. She is double my age. It was something that I was happy to take on but it was also a difficult character to portray.
You are part of AR Murugadoss' next. Will we see you doing action sequences in the film?
No. I am playing a pregnant cop in Akira. That's actually great fun.
Read: It is tough for indie film without a star producer, says Konkona
With AR Murugadoss' film, are you again entering mainstream films?
That's not the case. I have done most of the films (Prakash Jha's Hindi films Lipstick Wale Sapne, Meghna Gulzar in Nyodda, based on Aarushi Talwar murder case, Aparna Sen's Saari Raat, Gour Hari Dastaan) which are releasing now, some time back. I don't really do a mainstream film. Once in a while I might do a mainstream film, which interests me.
Otherwise, there's no conscious decision to do a mainstream film. I am open to doing mainstream films if they have a meaningful role for me. Basically, I want to do interesting work. I have no problems if they come in the form of mainstream or art-house cinema.