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Toofan in India: Mimi Chakraborty says 'Audience in Kolkata turns snobbish when it comes to Bengali cinema'
Mimi Chakraborty at 'Toofan' press conference in Kolkata (R) | Image by Avishek Mitra/IBNS

Toofan in India: Mimi Chakraborty says 'Audience in Kolkata turns snobbish when it comes to Bengali cinema'

| @indiablooms | 06 Jul 2024, 08:04 pm

Tollywood lead actress Mimi Chakraborty made a successful debut in Bangladesh with Raihan Rafi's action-packed film, Toofan where she starred alongside superstar of Dhaka, Shakib Khan. After sweeping the Bangladeshi box office, the film, which is produced by Alpha-i, Chorki and SVF, opened to theatres in India on July 5 as a part of its international release. IBNS correspondent Souvik Ghosh catches up with Mimi Chakraborty at the Kolkata press meet for the film...

Q. You are a big star in the Bengali film industry and also ventured into Bollywood recently. But how does it feel to get an international release?

A. Ura Dhura (awesome)! (laughs). I think this word sums up the entire feeling. I thank my audience who watched Toofan in the halls, danced and made reels (on social media) to Laage Ura Dhura and Dushtu Kokil songs from the film. I thank them wholeheartedly. Our director, Raihan Rafi, was firm on making not a single compromise throughout the shooting and that determination yielded this kind of a result.

I want to thank and give credit to Mahendra Soni (SVF co-founder), who convinced me to do the film. Otherwise, I would have missed this part. Shakib, who despite being such a big superstar, is so warm and grounded. As I have always said, I can't excel if I don't get warmth from my surroundings, the workplace which is my passion, existence and base.

Mimi Chakraborty interacting with journalists at Toofan press conference | Image by Avishek Mitra/IBNSMimi Chakraborty interacting with journalists at Toofan press conference | Image by Avishek Mitra/IBNS

Q. What factors did you keep in mind while signing Toofan finally?

A. I didn't read the script initially. I was curious whether the film has songs. (laughs). Then Moni-da (Mahendra Soni, SVF co-founder) told me that the film was going to have an international release. I had never worked in a Bangladeshi film but I was eager to do one. Moreover, the film features Shakib Khan, who is the biggest star in the Bangladeshi film industry. 

Q. Take us through the journey of making Laage Ura Dhura, which went on to become a massive hit?

A. I first heard it from Rafi-bhai (Raihan Rafi, director) and he was confident of it becoming a superhit. I wondered the meaning of the line Ura Dhura, which loosely translates to awesome. After a long time, I got an opportunity to dance to a peppy song. So I was happy in the environment. I am happier now because the audience loved the song.

Shakib Khan and Mimi Chakraborty at Laage Ura Dhura song from Toofan | Photo courtesy: SVF Shakib Khan and Mimi Chakraborty at Laage Ura Dhura song from Toofan | Photo courtesy: SVF

Q. How do you see the Bengali commercial films including the recent ones from Bangladesh- Hawa, Surongo- not connecting with the audience in Kolkata?

A. I have started my career and worked majorly in Kolkata. I still come across people who ask for a picture with me but boast that they don't watch Bengali films. With all due regards, this kind of behaviour can exclusively be noticed in our city. While people in South India root for their regional films, people in West Bengal don't give Bengali films their first preferences. Even in Bangladesh, several single-screen theatres are reopened to promote certain Bengali films. But in Kolkata, I see Hindi films getting first preferences followed by Bengali.

If the audience continues to remain snobbish and avoid watching Bengali films, it would be impossible to erase the tough time for this industry. I appeal to the audience to watch Toofan like they watched all my films including the previous one, Alaap. If the songs have clicked, I hope the audience will love the film as well.

Shakib Khan (L) and Mimi Chakraborty (R) at Shakib Khan (L) and Mimi Chakraborty (R) at 'Toofan' press conference in Kolkata | Image by Avishek Mitra/IBNS

Q. Tell us about your fitness regime and diet plans for this film.

A. I had to follow a separate routine for Raktabeej, where I had to ride a motorbike and do fight sequences. It was a different approach from my side. For Toofan, the fitness regime was a bit different. I will give credits to myself and my trainer. I have followed a strict regime where I used to consume not exceeding the limit of calories I should have taken. I have tried to do intermittent fasting for 16-18 hours and achieve as much calorie deficit as I could.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Q. Your last films- Raktabeej, Alaap- were of completely different tone than Toofan. How do you liberate yourself from the lingering moments of one film and switch to the next?

A. I believe an actor's job itself is to slip into any character they opt for. I have tried to work in varied films in my career. I thank my audience, directors and producers for giving me opportunities to explore diverse roles. It's challenging but I love the process of liberating from one character and switching to the next one.

Mimi Chakraborty offering prayers at Kalighat Temple in Kolkata seeking blessings for the success of Toofan | Image by Avishek Mitra/IBNSMimi Chakraborty offering prayers at Kalighat Temple in Kolkata seeking blessings for the success of Toofan | Image by Avishek Mitra/IBNS


The writer is a Kolkata-based entertainment, sports and political correspondent with IBNS. He can be reached on thisissouvikghosh@gmail.com

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