Yash Dasgupta likes to stay in town during Pujas. “The mood is changing. I have such fond memories of Puja, ”smiles Yash. A frank conversation ….
What are your favorite Puja memories?
I went down from Bombay to Calcutta during the Pujas. And I was going out on a pandal at night. From class VI to X, I remember doing this. We all walked a lot, from one pandal to another. We would eat out and have a good time. I would go back to Bombay after Pujas, and that would make me sad.
Would you like to watch the movies that would be released during Pujas?
Yes, we were all going out to watch mainstream movies, from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge to Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, in single screen theaters! We would have a great time soaking up the sights and sounds … loved the atmosphere there. It was electric. I remember going to the Atindra cinema in Barrackpore.
Your first Gangster movie was released on October 7, 2016 and it ends five years ….
I remember suggesting that the film be shot in Calcutta. I was coming from television to the cinema, and I wanted the film budget to be risk-free. Then it was suggested to shoot it in Dubai. Then Birsada (Dasgupta) suggested that we shoot the film in Turkey. It has incredible locations, and visually that would do wonders for the film. This is how it started. Of course, the set-up was new to me and there were other big movies coming out during that time … everything was new to me. Promoting the movie was new to me … we go out to promote a movie in the hopes of making sure there are shows chock full of their movies. I was under pressure.
I am really proud of Gangster. I got a prize for the film. I experienced the competition at the box office. It was a great learning experience for me.
How was your filming experience in Turkey?
What happened in Turkey, stays in Turkey!
There was a military coup in Turkey at that time.
Tanks had hurtled through the streets! We were in Istanbul. We all decided to stay put and finish shooting the movie. We shot every day … for 40 days. The travel part was hectic for all of us. Physically, I was exhausted at the end. We were all so determined, full of enthusiasm and zeal to do our best. I have very good memories of the shoot.
Massive changes have taken place in the mainstream cinema space over the past five years.
The storytelling model has changed. We focus on the content and the characters. Things are more realistic now. Audiences would love to see different types of stories unfold on the screen. As we did recently at Cheene Badam. The Masala movies always have a distinct fan base. But the technique, the recipe, the presentation must change. That’s what a lot of directors do these days and it works.
What have been the lessons learned over the past five years in the industry?
Nothing is permanent … the dynamics change over time. We can maintain harmonious relationships with each other, and I started to take things lightly. I used to get worked up over little things before.
What changes are you making in terms of choosing a project now?
I started to abandon myself to new directors. It has changed over time. The director knows the character better than I do. I will try to give what the director sees. It also makes it easier for me.
How was your work experience at Cheene Badam?
I had a great experience. Shiladitya did a fabulous job. He knows what he wants. I am very happy with the team. I really liked the story and the character. Shiladitya captured the contrasts well … It’s about application and friendship, and how relationships change once you easily succeed. These contrasts can occur in everyday life.
Are you going to explore the TV or web space soon?
Talks are underway for non-fiction TV shows. For the web, it depends on the content. OTT is the future. Of course, the cinematic experience is irreplaceable. I’m open to shows on OTT but for now I’m focusing on movies.
SOS Kolkata is now streaming on Zee5. How do you see the film?
I am happy with the film. He will always stay close to my heart.
Nusrat and Yash on SOS Kolkata, Streaming on Zee5 Now
Source by the correspondent
Your personal life had been under the scanner for almost a year. How did you manage it?
I like to keep my personal life as personal. I am a private person. The only problem is how people react. Stories have been concocted. When you see half the story and start judging people, that’s where things go wrong. After a while, it doesn’t really matter to you anymore. You just passed. As long as you have a clear conscience, you are fine.
Did you feel vulnerable?
There were times when I felt I had to go out and talk about it. But then I understood that nothing would come of it. People will believe what they would like to believe. They don’t know the whole story. I have to manage my life. I believe real fans will always support you. Your family never leaves you.
Have you stopped going on social media now?
Why? It is not so. It’s one thing not to talk about my personal life. But why should I hide? Someone’s hypothesis cannot be my reality.
Sometimes your life felt like an action thriller …
The way I was followed … I had never seen this happen in this town. It was like a cat and mouse chase. We were taught at school that silence is the best answer. Now the meaning has changed somehow. Silence is taken in a different way now. Sensible people will understand my silence.
Tell us about your adda sessions with Nusrat? What is the main topic of conversation?
We talk a lot, it is very important to initiate conversations on various topics. We love to debate a variety of topics, from movies, from politics to food, anything. She is a strong and independent woman, she imposed herself in her own way, she never had a godfather. I like people who make themselves, I believe in it.
She strikes the perfect balance between being against patriarchy and not being a feminist on an extreme level.
Photo: Rashbehari Das