Padmaavat’s Jim Sarbh’s new Bengali film is winning praise internationally
Labour of Love director Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s second film Jonaki — starring Jim Sarbh — takes inspiration from his conversations with his grandmother, who had “immense hunger for romance”.regional movies Updated: Feb 08, 2018 19:16 IST
Jim Sarbh has already won hearts with his performances in Neerja (2016), and the recently-released Padmaavat. Now, his new Bengali film, Jonaki, is also garnering praise. Directed by National Award-winning filmmaker Aditya Vikram Sengupta, the film recently had its world premiere at the 47th International Film Festival Rotterdam (in the Netherlands), and Sengupta is happy with the response it has got.
Jonaki is the tale of an 80-year-old woman who is in search of love. It was the special bond between Sengupta and his late grandmother that inspired him to make the film. “I was close to my [maternal] grandmother and would listen to her growing-up stories. She had this immense hunger for romance and she would talk about her idea of love to me in her own way,” he says.
The filmmaker adds, “When she was dying, she was in a state of coma for four days and I was by her side. During that period, she would murmur indistinctly, as if she was visiting a space that exists somewhere [in her dream or time that has gone by]. The film, in a way, is about my imagination of what she could have imagined in her state of unconsciousness. It’s a complex world of nostalgia, memory and a sense of loss.”
What made him cast Jim Sarbh as the young lover of the 80-year-old woman, played by senior actor Lolita Chatterjee (who acted in Talash (1969), Victoria No. 203 (1972), and Aap Ki Kasam (1974), plus several Bengali films)? Sengupta explains that it was mainly because of “the look and requirement” of this Bengali film [with English subtitles]. He shares that they had considered Emmanuelle Riva (who was part of Michael Haneke’s Amour, 2012) but she passed away early last year.
Jonaki is Sengupta’s second film. His first, Labour of Love, released in 2014. Explaining the long gap between these two films, he says that he was busy with another project. “I was working on [the film] Memories and My Mother, but that has now been delayed till the end of this year,” adds the filmmaker. For now, Jonaki comes first.
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