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“Cinema will always be a blend of art and commerce”

dsc_8640Bengali actor Jeet started his career more than a decade ago and has many hit films to his credit. The actor soon turned producer and his hit score has continued unabated. Right before the release of Abhimaan, his third outing this year, here’s the actor-producer in conversation with Rohini Nag Madnani

Your acting career spans over a decade, how has your journey been like?

It has been almost 15 years now and it has been fantastic. It has been wonderful and I am happy about the way things shaped up for me. I have had my share of ups and downs in the industry with hits and flops. But so far so good! The journey has been nothing less than extraordinary.

When you are green lighting a project as an actor, are you subconsciously thinking about the commercial aspects of the film or is it an instinctive call?

It is usually an instinctive call in the beginning. Now with the experience I have after being in the industry for so long, I get an idea of what kind of things the audience would like to have in a film. My decisions are more inclined towards my gut feeling at the time. Sometimes we fail also. Sometimes a film doesn’t work even though the content is good. The understanding of commercial aspects of filmmaking is not ignored while deciding.

Other than instinct, good content combined with a few other things matters. There are a lot of things you consider when you are doing a film. I generally look for a great story and interesting content which has commercial value.

You are one of the very few non-Bengali actors who have made it big in the industry. Was it tough to sustain in the Bengali industry?

I am a Kolkata boy so I never faced issues regarding being a non-Bengali. Other than that everyone has to go through huddles in life to succeed. Life is never easy. No matter what you do, until and unless you work hard results will never be in your favour. Bengali or non-Bengali, one has to let their work talk and stay focused. Having said that I feel blessed the way people love me and my work. I feel gratitude for the audience to have loved me for all these years and they continue to do so.

badsha-the-donThe Bengali industry is regarded as one of the most content-rich industries of our country and your films always have the commercial appeal along with good content. It is a conscious decision to marry the commercial aspects with the content?

Our films always have the commercial appeal with the content and it is a conscious decision to marry both because at the end of the day films have to do well and give return on investment. Otherwise the investors and the producers would not survive. Cinema is and always will be a blend of art and commerce. The divide of commercial and content films is a myth as only good content has the ability to bring in returns at the box office and that is what makes it a commercial success.

Abhimaan is a remake of Telugu film Attarintiki Daredi. As a producer what was it about the film that made you want to back it?

The film Attarintiki Daredi released in 2013 and that film was also produced by Reliance Entertainment in Telugu. The rights for the film were with Reliance all along and because of the content of the film we had been in discussion since a long time to remake the film in Bengali. Apart from being a complete entertainer which has romance, comedy and action the film has a very rich content with a story that has a soul. And I am personally very fond of Trivikram Srinivas’s work who is the writer and director of Attarintiki Daredi. In the past also, I have done a film that was based on his film and that worked very well. That film was Wanted (2010) a remake of his film Athadu.

Rohini Nag
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