Demonetisation woes: Abir keeps his fingers crossed for new Byomkesh Bakshi film
Actor Abir Chatterjee has a better understanding of the financial market than most of his contemporaries. Reason: Abir used to work in the stock market for a long time before venturing into films. Hence, the Har Har Byomkesh actor understands how the financial crisis and liquidity crunch in the market post the demonetisation move might affect the entertainment business. Abir believes that given the present situation, watching films isn’t a priority for the audience. However, he is also hopeful about the situation improving with time. This comes at a time when Abir is gearing up for the release of his upcoming Byomkesh Bakshi film, Byomkesh Pawrbo.
Interestingly, Abir’s earlier Bengali comedy, Thammar Boyfriend, released on November 18, when the entire country was grappling with the cash crisis. So, this time the actor is prepped up for the results. “I understand that the situation is grave and the people are panicking. In such a situation, people are more concerned about spending money on essential commodities than on entertainment. But Christmas is approaching and people will be spending money,” says Abir with an air of confidence.
He also shares that Thammar Boyfriend did well at the box office compared to other Bengali films that released just after the demonetisation move. “Since I have worked in the stock market, I know that any financial decision has multiple effects. It will at least take three-six months to understand what has happened,” says Abir, of Bastushaap and Katmundu fame.
Interestingly, Abir is the only Bengali actor to have played both Feluda and Byomkesh Bakshi. The actor was earlier seen as Feluda in Sandip Ray’s Badshahi Angti (2014), and has played Byomkesh Bakshi in both Anjan Dutt’s Byomkesh films and is now part of Arindam Sil’s Byomkesh franchise.
The actor says that, the character of Byomkesh Bakshi is extremely close to his heart for he shot to fame playing the iconic Bengali sleuth in Anjan Dutt’s Byomkesh Bakshi films. However, that doesn’t mean he is getting complacent playing the character. “I don’t want to bring in that complacency in me that I know the character and have played it several times. Every film brings with it new challenges. I guess there’s a flipside to it too. Since I have played the character several times, the audience will also expect to watch me in a new avatar every time I play Byomkesh. So, I constantly need to keep in mind new ways of entertaining the audience with the same role year after year,” he says in one breath.
Abir promises that his upcoming Byomkesh film, which is based on Sharadindu Bandopadhyay’s Amriter Mrityu, will be more adventurous, fast-paced and challenging. So much so, the actor was required to be more agile and physically fit. “In this film, the West Bengal government has requested him to investigate the matter. He needs to be more agile both physically and mentally,” says the actor, who learnt horse riding for the film.
Ask Abir, who was replaced by Sabyasachi Chakraborty as Felu Mitter in Sandip Ray’s films, if he will watch the Double Feluda film, and he instantly says, “After May, I have restricted all my comments towards Feluda. I think it’s wise to give some time to the entire event. Let time and people decide whether it was right or wrong,” he says, adding, “But I will be interested to know about the film. I want to watch the film sometime later.”