‘Saankal’ made all struggle in Mumbai worth it: Tanima Bhattacharya

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Interview with the Indian actress whose movie Saankal reaches theaters this week.

Tanima Bhattacharya is excited. Who would not be if his or her debut film is going to be released soon? While the movie Saankal has hit the screens already, it is only now that it is set for a commercial release. On the film festival circuit, Saankal has already won 15 awards and more than 40 official selections and nomination from various film festivals around the world. And what is more, Tanima has received four best lead actress nominations from the USA, Russia, Lucknow and Haryana film festivals. All goes to say, she is an extremely talented actress.

Tanima was born and raised up in Kolkata. She wanted to join the Indian Army but as destiny would have it, she entered the world of films. She seems both happy and content with it. She got into acting quite early and did some work in the movie industry in Kolkata. But Mumbai beckoned her six years ago and it is her new home now. She is on the edge as her debut Hindi feature film Saankal is set for release.
Venky Raghavendra caught up with her in the Bollywood capital of Mumbai while she was racing between the editing of her film, marking her presence at Bollywood parties and battling Bandra traffic. [SRK fans to be precise, as Bandra Bandstand was choked with thronging fans on his birthday!]

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Share with us your journey in the field of arts and cinema as you are on the threshold of the release of Saankal?

The journey has been great. I have done few projects earlier and then realized that I need to be very selective in order to reach my definition of success. So I chose to be very particular in what I opted for. It is not easy for someone with absolutely with no roots in Mumbai city and no ties in the film Industry. Yet, Saankal made all the effort and struggle worth it.

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This movie is about the conflict that blind tradition can bring or the repercussions of tradition on the lives of those affected. In a country that is steeped in traditions how does one find the right balance?

Education is the only resolve. And that too not only we read in textbooks. By education I mean the knowledge that helps generation be more empathetic and better human beings.

We all know movies are meant for entertainment purposes. But why do they evoke so much reaction and sentiment from various quarters as we are seeing in the case of Padmavati? The power of movies can cut both ways. What is your comment on this?

Actually no comments because everyone has their own individual thoughts.

Tanima Bhattacharya

Can you tell us a little more about the character of Abeera that you play in the movie? Did playing that role transform you in any way? If so how?

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Abeera is one such dignified woman who symbolizes all those women who faced some extremely disgraceful events due to patriarchy and male chauvinism. No, it has not changed me or my lifestyle but yes of course it hurts to know such rituals in our Motherland India.

What is next for you? Anything new and exciting you want to share?

: [smiling] All I want to say is just that I am in talks for few projects. Will disclose once anything will be on paper or go on the production floor.
(Venky Raghavendra contributes regularly on social issues and philanthropy, besides tracking down stars who are blazing new trails.)