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Detective Byomkesh Bakshy Updates: IN CINEMAS NOW! (Page 71)

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'If I don't get a film, I will start a canteen in Film City'

March 18, 2015 16:56 IST

Sushant Singh Rajput

'I don't know about being superstar, but one day if I become like Shah Rukh Khan, I will not mind that.'

'If I get the kind of films that I really want to do, and if I manage to survive in this industry, I will become somebody like that.'

Sushant Singh Rajput talks about his movie career.

Sushant Singh Rajput will be seen next in Dibakar Banerjee's Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, where he plays the famous detective.

The shy actor talks about the film, Shah Rukh Khan and his marriage plans, in this interview with Patcy N/ Rediff.com

Have you seen the TV serial Byomkesh Bakshi?

I have, but not as preparation for this film.

I saw it as a kid, so I have a very vague memory of how he carried himself, and the track of the serial,

After I finished shooting for the film, I watched the episodes again.

The character of Byomkesh in the film is very different from the TV serial.

Of course it is. Rajat Kapoor's Byomkesh always knew who he was and why he was the way he was.

He knew exactly what he was doing and his cases were different in every episode. He developed a very strong, inherent style over the years.

My Bymokesh is fresh out of college; he doesn't know what to do, is fascinated by everything that is complex, and wants to seek the truth.

He handles a very complicated case that has to do with the underworld, the Americans, the Chinese, and the Japanese and the opium trade.

Gradually, he understands who he is, and then he transforms into a seasoned, mature and level-headed detective.

Did you read the novel by Bengali writer Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay that features Byomkesh?

Yes, I read it before I worked in the film, as homework. I wanted to know everything that he wrote about Byomkesh Bakshy, and the Calcutta of the 1940s.

The character in our film is quite similar to the characterisation of Bakshy in the book.

What is different is the American army, and the opium trade. There was no international angle in the book, but the fact is this did happen in the Calcutta of the 1940s.

The other things that are different is the mode of communication, Dibakar's grammar and the music, which is very contemporary as we are catering to the youth of today.


Sushant Singh Rajput in Detetctive Bymokesh Bakshy

Image: Sushant Singh Rajput in Detetctive Bymokesh Bakshy

How did you prepare for the role?

I spent about four or five months preparing for the film. I looked at the history because in the film, when I say my dialogues, I talk about things and I had to know the history behind it.

I learnt about the culture of Calcutta of the 1940s.

I stayed in Calcutta for a couple of months before we started shooting. I had normal, casual interactions with the people out there.

Did you learn the language?

No, there is no Bengali spoken in the film.

It's like watching Gladiator (which is set in Rome and the language spoken is Latin) in English.

I wanted to learn the language but Dibakar said that we are catering to a Hindi audience so let's not mix it up.

Speaking in Hindi with a Bengali accent and using one or two Bengali words here and there doesn't help.

Sushanth Singh Rajput with Shah Rukh Khan

Image: Sushanth Singh Rajput with Shah Rukh Khan. Courtesy: Sushant Singh Rajput/Twitter

Shah Rukh Khan liked the trailer of the film. Did he tell you that?

We had a great time shooting for the show Sabse Shaana Kaun.

He told me he had seen the trailer of the film and it looked very exciting, it looks of international standard. He said he was waiting for the film to release and after seeing it, he would let me know what he thinks of the film and me.

That was very encouraging. He has always been my idol even before I thought of acting in films.

You are both from a theatre background, you both trained under Barry John, and you both worked in serials before getting into films. Will you be a superstar like him? :)

You forgot we are both from Delhi University.

I don't know about being superstar, but one day if I become like him, I will not mind that.

I was inspired by the way Shah Rukh carries himself, the energy with which he plays a character.

When I was thinking of becoming an engineer and films were just a source of entertainment, at that time too I would subconsciously behave like him. So, I understood the power an actor, particularly a star, has over the common man.

I understand too that there is a sense of responsibility with that.

If I get the kind of films that I really want to do, and if I manage to survive in this industry, I will become somebody like that.

But you are very shy...

When I am in front of the camera or on stage, I am not me.

When I am not acting or performing, I want to keep quiet and not to have a conversation.

Is that the reason you don't give that many interviews?

Yes.

Also, I don't have the experience to give my personal opinions and thoughts on so many things.

I don't have opinions. I am still figuring what exactly I want. That is why I don't give interviews.

I can be questioned about my past and my dreams, I can answer that.

Video: Sushanth Singh Rajput dances on the song Bach Ke Bakshy from Detective Bymokesh Bakshy

Tell us about the 50 hours of dance rehearsals you did for the song Bachke Bakshy.

I was told by Dibakar that the steps should not look like they were choreographed.

We got Lauren Gottlieb to choreograph the song. To get it to look like it was not choreographed, you have to put in many hours of practise.

We practised for 50 hours over a period of four days. We started  enjoying it so much that we were give two nights to shoot it.

We shot it in one night and mostly in one take.

In what way do you relate to Byomkesh Bakshy?

He is not able to express himself; he keeps lots of things inside. He can't fit into society. All these things I can relate to.

What happened to your plans of making a film?

Everything that is somehow related to direction and filmmaking fascinates me, like cinematography.

During a shoot, I always talk to the technicians, so I am learning on the job.

Practical knowledge of what works and what doesn't work is much better. Theoretical knowledge is important, but I think practical knowledge works better.

I don't know when I will make a film, but one day I will make a film.

All the directors that you have worked with -- Abhishek Kapoor, Raj Kumar Hirani and Maneesh Sharma -- had never seen your television work. Does that make you feel you wasted two years in the television industry?

Dibakar is the only one who had seen my television work.

I was not doing television to get into films. People tell me that television to films is a wonderful, seamless transition, but I've never see it like that.

I was as excited playing the role of Manav (Pavitra Rishta) on television, as I was playing Ishaan in my first film (Kai Po Che).

If I get a very good role in television again, I will do it.

Sushanth Singh Rajput and Sashwata Mukherjee in Detective Bymokesh Bakshy

Image: Sushanth Singh Rajput and Swastika Mukherjee in Detective Bymokesh Bakshy

You have a kiss in the film with Swastika Mukherjee that you were not aware of?

Yes, I was not aware of the kiss.

In fact, I was not aware of so many things in the film because Dibakar being the kind of director he is, would give different inputs to different actors so that he got good reactions.

After all, what is acting? It is actually observing, listening and reacting to the situation.

Swastika was told to kiss me and I was told there is no kiss in the scene because Byomkesh was not expecting the kiss.

You said in an interview that had you known there was a kiss in the film, you would have informed your girlfriend Ankita. Is it necessary to inform her about intimate scenes?

It is not necessary, but it is not harmful. Keeping everybody in the loop is good.

It doesn't create problems; she is immune to it. I kissed so many times in Suddha Desi Romance.

Sushant Singh Rajput

Image: Sushant Singh Rajput. Courtesy: Sushant Singh Rajput/Twitter

From studying to be an engineer, to dancer, to theatre actor, to television actor, to movies... the transition looks easy, but was it a struggle?

It was never a struggle because there was never a goal.

Struggle is there when you want to do something and it is distant and you don't know how to do it.

I forget about the film camera. If you put a television camera in front of me, I will behave in the same way. Or, you put a live audience there, I will behave in the same way.

It is not the medium.

What do enjoy the most -- television, films or theatre?

I will act in front of the mirror with nobody watching me and I will be just as excited.

When I quit television, people told me, you are doing a filmmaking course but what if you don't get a film?

I said, I will make my own films'.

I had decided that if that happens, I will start a canteen in Film City and I will buy a camera and make my own short film about the canteen and feature in it too. And I know I would be as excited about that as I am right now.

You said that it's the story that attracts you, not the money or fame. What do you look for in a story? Why would you do a small role in PK?

Length or duration of the character doesn't matter to me. That is the first thing that we learn in theatre. There is a saying from Constantin Stanislavski: 'There are no small parts, only small actors.' I believe that.

For me, it's the experience -- of Rajkumar Hirani saying Action' or when I am improvising and Aamir Khan is observing me. That's the experience I wanted to have in PK.

I am not saying that fame and money do not affect me. They are important. But I don't work for them, and that's why I have money and I am famous.

Sushant Singh Rajput in Detective Bymokesh Bakshy

Image: Sushant Singh Rajput in Detective Bymokesh Bakshy

You have worked with Dibakar Banerjee, Abhishek Kapoor, Raj Kumar Hirani and Maneesh Sharma. How are these directors different from each other and what did you learn from each?

All four have a very different approach. Abhishek Kapoor is so passionate; he used to be an actor.

Maneesh Sharma started his career as a director and went to New York University.

Rajkumar Hirani was an editor before.

Dibakar started his career as a designer.

They all have a different point of view, a different way of telling a story and communicating, and that helps me to understand my craft better.

You gave up engineering studies midway. How did your father react? Was there a back-up plan if things didn't work out?

That is why things worked, because I did not have a back-up plan.

My family told me to get my degree as I had given six semesters and had to do just one more year.

I said I have to drop out right now because I am wasting my time here and because I do not want a degree to fall back on.

But a canteen in Film City would have been plan B?

That was not plan B; that was to spend time in Film City because I love Film City. It's the only place in Mumbai where everybody is shooting something.

It's because of the place it is that I thought of opening a canteen there.

I can eat and I can enjoy watching films and I can actually shoot my short film, so that was the place to be.

Sushant Singh Rajput and Ankita Lokhande

Image: Sushant Singh Rajput and Ankita Lokhande. Courtesy: Sushant Singh Rajput/Twitter

What about Paani? It's been stalled many times. Are you apprehensive about it?

No, not at all.

The last one year I got the opportunity of interacting with Shekhar Kapur (the film's director). I learnt so much that I don't expect anything else from Paani.

I can't control whether Paani happens or not, but through our conversations I learnt a lot from Shekhar Kapur, which is more than enough for me

What about marriage plans? You were to marry Ankita Lokhande this year.

I have a few films to complete and then I will think about marriage.

I don't know the date and month. But it is going to happen, this year, next year... who is in a hurry?

Patcy N / Rediff.com in Mumbai

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Expect The Unexpected as "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!" Launches The Buzz at BMO IFFSA | PIFF | Toronto 2015

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EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED AS "DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY!" LAUNCHES THE BUZZ AT BMO IFFSA | PIFF | TORONTO 2015

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Toronto, Ontario - March 16, 2015 - The Excitement Is Here Again! The BMO International Film Festival of South Asia [IFFSA] - Toronto launches its BUZZ EVENTS with a blockbuster premiere of Dibakar Banerjee Productions' "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!" (DBB) presented by India's premier film studio Yash Raj Films (YRF) at 6:30pm on Thursday, April 2, 2015, at Cineplex Odeon Courtney Park Cinemas in Mississauga.

DBB IFFSA

Based on the detective Byomkesh Bakshi, created by Bengali writer Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!" is set in 1943, Second World War torn Calcutta. Protagonist Byomkesh, played by actor Sushant Singh Rajput, is fresh out of college and takes on his first adventure as a detective against an evil genius who is out to destroy the world.

"Real people are villains here. People you and I could know easily in our ordinary lives. Yet these very ordinary, real people, unknown to us, are planning something horribly twisted. And Byomkesh's mind runs faster than light and cuts sharper than a Teflon razor to bring these diabolical criminal to justice", stated Dibakar Banerjee, Director and Producer of DBB.

Director Dibakar Banerjee is most known for films "Khosla Ka Ghosla" (2006) and "Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!" (2008).


"We are very excited about the start of our relationship with YRF, and the opportunity to present some great movies to audiences in North America", stated Sunny Gill, Founder | President of BMO IFFSA | PIFF | Toronto.

The DBB film premiere is just the beginning of a festival of fun and entertainment. BMO IFFSA | PIFF | Toronto 2015 is going to be even bigger and better with more than 60 films in over 11 languages, and over 30 unique events for the public. The festival launches in April and runs from May 14-18, 2015. Visit www.iffsatoronto.com or FB/IFFSA for all latest information about the festival.

Expect the unexpected!

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Welcome to the World of Calcutta in 1943 - a city plunged in war, hate and crime. People living in fear and shadows. Only one man is in search of the truth - Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! 

From the house of Yash Raj Films and Games2Win comes a game so thrilling that it will take on a journey of shocking discoveries!
Join the first Indian Detective on his quest to uncover some of the biggest mysteries and evils that are haunting the city. A man with fascinating intelligence, strong observation powers and an explosive wit to match; decides to takes YOU as his partner! And he won't spare you, till you won't catch up with his shrewd mind. 

Expose hidden motives and follow clues. Learn the science of observation and deduction. Stay alert as everything is not what it seems in this hidden objects game. Whether it's a petty crime or stopping the diabolic plan that threatens the future of India, Bymokesh won't stop and so will you!




Engage your detective mind. Download Detective Byomkesh Bakshy @Games2Win from the Google Play Store for FREE!

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy Features:
Train to be the Best Detective!
- 10 Gripping Case Stories
- Nail biting and Varied Gameplay
- Challenging Mini Game
- Realistic old-world Calcutta scenarios'


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Sushant Singh Rajput opens up about spying in reel and real



The Kai Po Che actor is on the threshold of proving if he can carry a film on his shoulders alone. His upcoming film Detective Byomkesh Bakshi is just two weeks away. We caught up with him at Yash Raj Studios (Andheri, Mumbai). Excerpts from the interview:
 

How did Detective Bymokesh Bakshi happen?

I was shooting for Shuddh Desi Romance. I got a call to meet Adi (Aditya Chopra) sir. And then I heard that this new thing was happening at YRF. They were collaborating with Dibakar Bannerjee. And when I found out about the character that I was to play has already been played some 74 times before, including mediums like TV, theatre and films, I became interested. 

In fact that should put you off?

I was ready to look at another interpretation of an old story. Byomkesh is an Indian detective who is very interesting and those who don't know about him, can know him through this film. And those who know him will not be disappointed (smiles).

Have you seen the show on Byomkesh Bakshi with Rajat Kapoor in the lead? 

Yeah, I faintly remember it. I was a kid then. I remember there was an introduction track, a sketch of Rajat's that appeared before the show began. I vaguely remember the way he solved his cases. But Dibakar had warned me not to watch any of those shows, movies or plays that have Byomkesh in the centre. I was only permitted to read some of the writings of Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay who created the literature around Byomkesh.

It's weird he asked you to refrain from the material around Byomkesh...

You know when something is attempted so many times, you have to understand that the intent behind each attempt is different. Everyone has something new to say. If I had seen those shows, plays or movies on Byomkesh Bakshi, I would have been influenced by some of them. Subconsciously, I would have imitated them. And Dibakar didn't want it. He wanted something of our own.

Do you like reading and seeing detective stuff?

Yeah. I love Sherlock Holmes. I was hooked on to Robert Downey's version of the character, and even the UK TV series. As for the Indian detectives, I love them all. I love the genre actually. I watched Raja Aur Rancho, Vijay Anand's emulation of Karamchand. I have been a fan of all of these shows. And it's not difficult being a detective because he looks for logic everywhere. He looks for interpretations, he observes and that's what even you and I do. We just don't realise. There's a detective in all of us. But this all began after I finished school. Physics, Chemistry and Maths in school never left me with time to do anything else. 

How has your journey been from a romantic hero to a hot spy from the 1940s?

Kai Po Che was not a romantic film. Shuddh Desi Romance wasn't a romantic film either. Frankly, I don't look at a character's length or the film's genre before accepting an offer. The script should fascinate and engage me.

Your first impressions of Dibakar Bannerjee?

Dibakar is such a sorted guy. He will never tell you what to do. He only builds walls...he tells you what not to do. Within that boundary, you have to come up with ideas and improvise on them. And that is a very personal effort you make for a role. The outcome is very honest. I don't think I have done that before. 

How did you prepare for Bymokesh Bakshi? 

The film has been set in Kolkata. I have studied history and there was so much happening in that city...opium trade, British Raj, American GIs, Japanese invasion, the formation of the Indian National Army...so much happened around the same time. So this character's mindset was decided by these happenings. His mannerisms, body language, everything was driven by the events happening around him. As an actor, I was quickly made to understand why this film is being made now. And once I understood that, I was firmly on track. 

Let's talk more about Dibakar...

He has a very European style of filmmaking. Generally you are told to do certain things and you imitate, but his way is very organic. He doesn't spoon-feed. And his movie shows you things and leaves you to think over it and decide which side of the fence you are on. Without saying or showing off much, he rhetorically communicates through the movie. It's an art that comes with time, experience and knowledge of cinema. Initially, I couldn't understand what's going on but eventually I settled in. 

How has the association with Yash Raj Films been?

I saw many movies of this banner when I was a student. And I would wonder how it would look if it read: Starring Sushant Singh Rajput'. Years later, I entered this studio as a background dancer. And when I made an entry in the register at the entrance, I thought, at some point I will enter this place as a star. I had no idea of destiny. Sochne mein kya jaata hai (laughs) Today, I feel so proud. There's a sense of fulfillment.

You are doing one more film with YRF, Shekhar Kapur'sPaani.  

I just feel there are so many talented and hard working people but I believe in the saying, He who says he can and he who says he can't are both usually right'. I don't believe in luck so much. If you can think, it will happen. And I think it will happen! 

How would you rate yourself as Byomkesh if compared with the others who played this character? 

If I assigned two people to make a film on me, it would be me at the centre of affairs but their perceptions about me will dictate the way they make their films, the way they interpret me. It's the same case here. Everyone had a different thought and interpretation and so if I indulge in comparing, it will be unfair. This is Dibakar'sinterpretation. After the research, prep and the shoot, I feel this is my best work by far. This is how far I can go for a role. It's a sense of achievement for me.

Is Dibakar a hard task master? 

Never felt so! I enjoyed myself with him. I came on the sets with my options but we'd try something different altogether. I learnt so much from him. I am just waiting for him to make a sequel to this film and work with me on it. 

Which was the toughest scene for you?

I am supposed to be interrogating someone and that person dies in the thick of things. So I did the scene as decided, and it was okayed in five minutes flat. Then Dibakarcalled me and said: 'Let's try something else. We have 20 minutes more. He asked me if I had seen someone dying in front of my eyes. I said I have seen people either before or after their death. He asked me what is that one thing you'd feel if someone died in front of you while you were having a conversation. I thought for 20 minutes but I couldn't figure. He said that you'll be fascinated by what happens in front of your eyes. As a character you can feel an array of emotions but the first thing you will feel is fascination. He said don't play it to the gallery, just feel the fascination and let that show in the scene. And the scene turned on its head. . 

If you had to be a detective for real, who would you keep a tab on?

Aamir Khan. I want to know how he convincingly comes up with one good film after another. He has been doing this for so many years and has done it so well. His films have content and they have worked commercially too. I want to learn the art of sustaining that passion for films.

Lastly, why should people watch Detective Byomkesh Bakshi if they've seen 73 interpretations of it in the past? 

It's a YRF film by Dibakar with Sushant Singh Rajput (smiles). I think this is my best performance till date. And you will never get to see Kolkata in the 1940s with such a contemporary approach. The film will keep you on the edge of your seat. You don't need more reasons to watch a film, right?




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Just visited the official website of the film and loved it! They have given character sketches of all the important characters and told about the important places we shall come across in the movie! Love how they've made it like a story or series! 
I'm downloading the game now. Looks interesting. 

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