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When Rahul Bose almost cried

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
By Sandeep Hattangadi

RAHUL Bose, who is known for his superior acting talent in off-beat cinema, is back on the scene with his forthcoming release, The Japanese Wife, by Aparna Sen. The film is inspired by Kunal Basu’s short story and also stars Raima Sen, Chigusa Takaku and veteran Moushumi Chatterjee. We caught up with the actor at a recent press conference.

Your best performances have come in Aparna Sen’s films. Now, we’re told that your role is par excellence in The Japanese Wife. Tell us more.
THE Japanese Wife is a lyrical love triangle between a Bengali mathematics teacher Snehamoy Chakrabarti played by me, who tutors students at a school in the Sundarbans and the two women in his life – his Japanese wife of 15 years Miyage, played by Chigusa Takaku, whom Snehamoy has never met and Sondhya, played by Raima Sen, a widow who was chosen as his child bride, but married elsewhere. Snehamoy and his Japanese wife live out their marriage in letters, thoughts, gifts and occasional telephonic conversations in broken English and then there is Snehamoy’s ‘mashi’, played by Moushumi Chatterjee hovering around him all the time. So this film is a complete love story from start till the end.

What was so striking about The Japanese Wife? Is it the story or ace filmmaker Aparna Sen?
I would say both! Forget me acting in this film, when I read the script, it almost made me cry. The story is overwhelming and heartbreakingly sensitive. And about Aparna Sen, she is a brilliant director and even this would be an understatement. We used to have our share of disagreements, but after working for so long there is always mutual trust and respect, which acts as a common factor. As far as the handling of the subject is concerned, her depth and mastery is unbelievable.

So, do you think this film by Aparna will impress the audience, just like her last work?
Definitely, without a doubt yes. This directorial venture is a completely different one from what Aparna has done before. If the audience liked the love story in Mr. & Mrs. Iyer, then the double the amount of people will love The Japanese Wife.

Is your role in the film worthy enough for an award?
I don’t work to get an award. It’s always a bonus when I do, but I work for my cerebral satisfaction. This film has witnessed the finest work by all actors, be it Moushumi Chatterjee, Raima or even Chigusa, all of them deserve an award according to me.

You’re a multi-faceted person who is into acting, directing, and writing. What about singing?
Oh, I’ve tried my hands there too. I sang for a Bengali film called Anuranan.

What next after The Japanese Wife?
Well my forthcoming films are Fired, which is a horror film. Then, there is Mumbai Chakachak, I’am, Kuch Love Jaisa are in pipeline as well.

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