From Bob Biswas in ‘Kahaani' to Pappu Bhai in ‘Damadol', the Bengali film where he plays a film producer—how much difference does he see?
“Not much, in a way,” he said coolly. Bob is a hardcore killer while Pappu rides roughshod over creative-minded people in a film.
“Pappu Bhai - please note gangsters are dubbed bhais in Hindi films - thinks he knows everything about his film and imposes his opinion on the crew,” Saswata explained. His Pappu Bhai character appears in an item number in ‘Damadol' which is a comedy flick. Asked when people can expect him to act in another Hindi film, Saswata said they have to wait till next March, perhaps, adding that recognition after ‘Kahaani' was just incidental. “For me getting recognition in ‘Kahaani' is incidental. I never look at things that way. I have to grab audience attention even if I don't last beyond 2-3 minutes before the camera.”
“In ‘Kahaani', I did not have more than 15 minutes in the whole movie and my character has dialogues for not more than two minutes. Still, the audience remember me for that role,” Saswata said on location shooting for ‘Damadol' at a city studio.
The same holds true for the role in ‘Damadol', where his acting space fills up just one-third of the film. Adjusting the bright-orange turban on his head, he said, “Damadol is a dig at commercial cinema where I play the role of the blunt-headed producer who loves masala flicks and feels he knows everything about films.”
The young director of ‘Damadol', Manoj Michigan, agrees with Saswata, saying “he has given 200 per cent to the film”. Saswata, who said he is putting much faith on his upcoming film on Ritwik Ghatak, said, “I grew up watching Ritwik Ghatak, Satyajit Ray and Mirnal Sen's works in my youth, which was a very turbulent phase in Bengal's history.” The film touches one particular phase of his life when he himself was going through a turbulent phase and it mostly follows the works and happenings surrounding him. “But there are also some fictional accounts,” he said refusing to add anything more about the movie.