Best remembered for her role in ‘Love Breakups Zindagi’ and the telefilm ‘Shaadi Vaadi’, Auritra Ghosh will be seen on the big screen after a while with ‘M Cream’, touted to be India’s first ‘stoner film.’ In this interview, she talks about the long-in-the-making film, her journey as an actor and future projects.
The film traces the journey of these individuals looking for a mythical drug. Does it deal with the issue of drug abuse?
The film does not deal with the issue of drug abuse. It is primarily about a road trip. The film starts with these characters going out on a road trip on the pretext of finding this mythical drug. Like sometimes you have a craving for ice cream and you feel a strong urge to have it right then. The longing for the ice cream becomes an excuse for people to go out on this drive. Maggie and her best friend are looking for some fresh maal and there is no maal in the city, so they decide to go on a road trip. Her boyfriend, who happens to be a photographer, is also travelling because of some assignment. The film starts off with the interpersonal relationships shared by the characters and as the story moves forward, it touches upon several environmental and political issues as well. Basically, the film is about what the youth is feeling and how it reacts to the various situations they come across in their daily lives. It is neither a pro drug nor an anti-drug film. The film never says that drugs are good. In fact, there is a scene in which the two friends want to try out a kind of a drug but one of them puts his foot down and decides against it. It is about growing up, understanding what is god for you and bad for you and to what extent should you indulge in something.
How did your journey as an actor start?
I came to Mumbai to shoot for ‘Love Breakups Zindagi’, my first film. Before that, I had been a part of Lillete Dubey’s theatre group and acted in a couple of plays. I started off as a professional dancer and slowly, I started getting calls to audition as an actor. I did a few workshops as an actor and decided to give it a shot. Soon after that, I shifted to Mumbai and started working here.
Tell us something about your character in the film.
I start off as the protagonist and end up being the antagonist in the film. What you are getting to see now is a festival edit in which there is not much of the character that I play. For the festival edit, our director decided to go with a shorter cut since that works better in the international market. For the Indian release, they were planning to release a longer cut but there were some issues with the Censor Board and they had to stick to the same cut. If you ever get to see the longer cut, perhaps on a DVD, you will see a lot of interaction with Maggie and her friend. Maggie has had a troubled childhood. She grew up being a wild child. She has seen a lot of violence at home, so she is very disconnected as a person. She is a rebel without a cause. While growing up she had a lot of money but no love. She is madly in love with Niz, which is played by Raaghav Chanana but he falls in love with someone else. When she feels that she is losing her best friend, she starts behaving irrationally. She does things to get attention and ends up ruining a lot of relationships.
You were appreciated for your performance in Love Breakups Zindagi but after that, one saw you in a handful of films. Why?
I did a film called Dharam Sankat Mein a while back which did fairly well. Unfortunately, the films that I have done have not done very well at the box office. Though my performance has been received well in some of the films, they have not really reached out to a wide audience. I signed M Cream in 2011 and it was supposed to be my second release after Love Breakups Zindagi. Being an independent films and with the limited resources we had in hand, the film took almost fourteen months to be completed. The director was clear about sending the film to the festivals as if a film gets some sort of recognition in the festival circuit, it gets easier to push the film. After the film made the rounds of various film festivals, the producers started looking at a release window in 2015. I did some films in the meantime and also acted in a web series called A.I.S.H.A My Virtual Girlfriend. I did a telefilm called Shaadi Vaadi with MTV produced by Emmay Entertainment, Nikkhil Advani’s company.
What are the projects you are working on at the moment?
I have signed a film which will roll sometime in October. There is another theatre production in the pipeline but I would not like to talk about anything that has not been announced as yet.