Interview : Sabyasachi

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Actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty is still basking in critics’ appreciation for his performance in LAHORE. He tells our correspondent why he was not ‘too optimistic’ about the film initially.

Tell us something about the making of the movie…
This film LAHORE has been in the making for four years. The kind of dedication and labour that has gone in to the making of the film is unbelievable. A lot of homework had gone into the movie prior to the making. Director Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan consulted true professionals of the field to bring about a new standard in authenticity.

When I was first approached for the film, I wasn’t too optimistic about its prospects. It was a sport film and that too not on cricket – something so different as kickboxing which has never been tried in our country before, I believe. Also I

‘I wasn’t too optimistic about LAHORE’

learnt Sanjay Chauhan was associated closely with the sport, so it could’ve turned into simply a propaganda for the sport.

So what won you over?
What won me over was Sanjay’s conviction. I asked him once ‘Why me?’, but he was so very sure from the beginning about exactly what he wanted, that I couldn’t say no. His enthusiasm and energy for the film was amazing and very contagious.

What role do you play in the movie?
My character is that of the Pakistani kick-boxing coach. For him the only goal is to defeat India and the sport is a war to him. In the end he does realize the importance of the sportsman spirit.

view LAHORE movie stills

view LAHORE movie stills

You have worked with many directors. How was working with Sanjay Chauhan?
Sanjay Chauhan was an inspiration for all of us. The script was exceptionally well and all the technical aspects of the movie were taken such great care off.

I think the reason for the film to turn out the way it has is primarily the director’s merit. He was dynamic, courageous, enthusiastic and confident. The screenplay was great, the cooperation between the actors, the ambiance on the set, the eye for detail, everything came together to make the film what it is.

LAHORE is movie that is being appreciated for its craftsmanship. Whose performance impressed you the most?
Despite the presence of such seasoned professionals like Farooq Sheikh, Nafisa Ali and more, it was the debutantes’ performances that really impressed me. Aanaahad’s performance was simply superb. He has worked very hard for the movie and it is noticeable.

Do you think that a film’s great performance at international film festivals hinders its commercial prospects?
Lots of people are under the perception that this is a serious arty film. It is most certainly not so. It’s about the human content, human bondage and the common man. And it’s a really gripping story.

Why don’t we see you more often in the Hindi film industry?
See, we have plenty big stars there already and we come in second. We can’t compete with the stardom that they command.

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