Ankush Hazra, Saurav Das chat over comedy genre amid Abar Bibaho Obhijaan release
Tollywood actors Ankush Hazra and Saurav Das promise a laughter riot in Soumik Haldar's Abar Bibaho Obhijaan, which releases on Thursday. In an interaction with IBNS correspondent Souvik Ghosh, the two actors speak on comedy as a genre and its challenges... Excerpts...
Q (to Saurav Das): How was your experience of making the debut in this franchise?
SD: I am a fan of the Bibaho Obhijaan film. I had watched the film in the theatre. I was happy but also tensed upon getting the offer. I was tensed because my character was new to the franchise unlike the ones played by Ankush (Ankush Hazra), Anirban (Anirban Bhattacharya) and Rudy (Rudranil Ghosh), who have terrific off and on screen chemistry. The advantage was that I have worked with all three actors in comedy films in the past. So I was aware of their performances prior to working in Abar Bibaho Obhijaan.
Q (to Ankush): Did you feel any pressure of matching up to the success of Bibaho Obhijaan?
AH: Honestly, I didn't like the plot as well as the one-liners of Bibaho Obhijaan initially. The essence of Bibaho Obhijaan is to present the known characters in unique moulds. The trio of myself, Rudy (Rudranil Ghosh) and Anirban (Anirban Bhattacharya) is a very unique combination. Bibaho Obhijaan was the first mainstream film where Anirban was a part of. All these factors led to the success of the first part. I loved the script when I went through the narration.
The same challenge was prevalent in the second part as well let alone the criticisms the commercial films often attract. So there was a challenge to make the comedy genre more believable with all the funny elements. Moreover, the challenge was to progress with the storyline keeping all the characters intact. In this context, Saurav's incorporation in the film was so important.
Q (to Saurav): What are the challenges of working in a comedy film?
SD: Humour is something which either one can have or not. There might be some actors who developed the comic timings with experience but that's very rare. The comic timing is a must in an actor to excel in this genre. Comedy seemed easy to me when I worked on my first TV serial but later I realised how difficult comedy is when I played diverse roles over the years. Comedy is very challenging.
Q (to Ankush): How did the off screen chemistry of the lead cast play a role in evoking laughter on the scenes?
AH. The off-screen chemistry matters a lot in any comedy film. The weaker bonds between the co-actors will lead to less discussion which in turn will make less improvisation. The fun element of a scene will be impacted in that scenario. The instant improvisation of actors is key to the laughter in a comedy film. The bonding between myself, Saurav and Rudy was always there which in a way helped me in the craft. However, my chemistry with Anirban, with whom I have worked less, developed after Bibaho Obhijaan.
Q: Do insecurities come in a long cast, even remotely?
AH: It was never the case for us. Even we back each other to uplift the film. We all are working for the sake of the film. If the film works, we all will be credited.
Q (to both): How challenging is it to work on a comedy film on a day when things are not all rosy in personal life?
AH: It is an added challenge for both of us because we host shows. Anchoring is all about energy and fun, on which our shows bank. So reality shows are a bigger challenge than films because we get opportunities for a retake in the latter. It happened to me as well while I was shooting for Aashiqui in London. I was about to shoot a meaty number of comedy scenes on a day Oindrila's (Ankush's actor girlfriend Oindrila Sen) father met with an accident. Amid all the crisis back home, I had to shoot the comedy scenes. It is very tough. Having said that, the word 'action' from the director on the shooting floor makes us immersed into a scene.
Saurav: I feel actors should simultaneously be emotional as well as emotionless. I had to shoot for Abar Bibaho Obhijaan even after Aindrila Sharma (TV actor) died. I wept briefly. But soon I had to get up for the shot. Despite having much emotional discomfort, I had to carry on with the shooting. I realised the true meaning of the phrase "the show must go on".
Q. Do these experiences, which are unfortunate and sad in any way, enrich actors?
SD: Yes, I think so. I have incorporated my actions in any film from real life. I have channelised my anger and disappointment through my utmost effort in acting. My sufferings mature me as an actor. It is not easy but the only way out is to channelise suffering through our efforts in work.
(Images: Avishek Mitra/IBNS)