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Chengiz's pan-India release part of the trend started by Baahubali: Jeet
Jeet | Photography: Avishek Mitra/IBNS

Chengiz's pan-India release part of the trend started by Baahubali: Jeet

IBNS | @indiablooms | 17 Apr 2023, 12:37 pm

Tollywood superstar Jeet starrer Chengiz is set to be the first Bengali film to be released in the Hindi language simultaneously along with a pan-India screening. Ahead of the April 21 release, IBNS correspondent Souvik Ghosh catches up with the actor...

Jeet, who has extensively campaigned for Chengiz in Mumbai, plays an underworld kingpin in the film, which portrays the underworld scene of Calcutta (now Kolkata) between 1970s-1990s. Jeet co-stars young Bengali actor Sushmita Chatterjee in the lead.

Q. You came back from Mumbai with empty hands 20 odd years ago. How was the feeling going back there as a Tollywood superstar?

A. I lived in Mumbai for a certain period of time despite being born and raised in Kolkata. Things didn’t work as per my wish back then in Mumbai but I had learned a lot from the city. I got recognition in Bengal when I came back. It’s a great feeling to showcase a Bengali film at the national level. We are very happy about that. Honestly, I never thought I would celebrate my film’s theatrical release in Mumbai. It was a dream coming true.

Q. Was it the need of the hour to release a Bengali film nationally considering the recent trend?

A. We were thinking of it. The whole idea was to reach a wider audience across languages. We all have huge connections with the Hindi language. So we thought of trying it with Hindi. If we get success, we may plan for other languages as well in future.

Q.  Do you fear comparisons would be drawn between Chengiz and other south Indian films which have done exceedingly well in the Hindi market?

A. No, there is no comparison. This is a roadmap which was started with Baahubali greatly and later some other films had performed well in the Hindi circuit. There should be no comparison. If we can succeed with Chengiz, the doors will open for our industry also. We are just following an existing roadmap.

Q. Do you think Chengiz will bring back the trend of mainstream commercial films in Bengal which is shrinking in number over the last few years?

A. I hope so. Unfortunately there are not too many (mainstream) films being made here. There was a time when a huge number of mainstream masala films were being made here. But I’m sure if Chengiz or any other film does well here, it can inspire others.

Sushmita Chatterjee (L) and Jeet (R) | Photography: Avishek Mitra/IBNSSushmita Chatterjee (L) and Jeet (R) | Photography: Avishek Mitra/IBNS

Q. Many filmmakers had faced a crisis in terms of shows in Kolkata when Pathaan was released. How do you see this especially when Chengiz and Salman Khan’s Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan are releasing on the same date?

A. It’s like the big eating the small. But nobody can stop a film if its fate is different. If the storytelling is fast and connects with people faster, the results will show.

Q. Do you feel such storytelling is lacking in Tollywood?

A. Yes, we have also failed in bringing in the right kinds of films which connect with people. We will be happy if Chengiz brings that back.

Q. Can we see you featuring in other language films in future?

A.  I am open to films of any language. Besides Bengali, I worked in Telugu, Hindi, Bhojpuri, Odia in the past. I will again do it in the future if I find something lucrative, powerful, nice, constructive, and a project which can add to my filmography.

Q. Does your stardom image and an aura resisting you from plunging into OTT?

A. No, no, no. I am open to OTT also. I will do it if I find something exciting. I have no blockages in my mind. I am open to even short films.

Q. You kept yourself reserved when it comes to social programmes, film premieres or politics. Has it been a conscious approach?

A. I have always been occupied with work, family and friends. I find it difficult to manage time for anything else. As I have always said, I came here (film industry) to make films and not friends. So I just concentrate and focus on making films. People can only see me more through films.

(Photography: Avishek Mitra/IBNS)

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