Just trying to change everything from behind a mask : Mikhail

by June 23, 2019 0 comments

Just trying to change everything from behind a mask Mikhail

The environmentally-conscious CHANDAN ROY SANYAL plays an auto rickshaw driver in the sci-fi environmental thriller, Hawa Badle Hassu, which tackles the issue of sustainability. By Sakshi Sharma

When you mention actor Chandan Roy Sanyal it is the wild Mikhail in Kaminey that pops up in every cine-goer’s mind. For it is easy to lose him in the crowd. At five-feet nothing, when we went to interview the actor, most people were flummoxed as to where he was as he stood in our midst. But then it is this everyday ordinariness, which helps him to blend into every character that Chandan plays.

Starring in the new web series, Hawa Badle Hassu, which is a sci-fi environmental thriller, Chandan’s mouthing a dialogue “Mukhauto mein chupa sa hu, kuch badalne mein laga sa hu, (I am trying to change everything from behind a mask)” is setting the social media on fire.

In the series, Hassu, a mysterious auto rickshaw driver, full of life, charm and wit, played by Chandan is an agent of change who offers interesting insights into the environment. The transition from Mikhail to Hassu will be an interesting watch.

Sharing what he has in common with the character, Chandan said, “Hassu is outspoken and talkative just like me. His encounter with passengers from various walks of life forms the crux of each episode.”

The series delivers a strong message on environmental sustainability through futuristic storytelling. “The web space is occupied with sex, drama and love stories but not nature, that’s the reason I chose to do this,” said Roy, who claimed to be an  environmentally-conscious person. When Chandan heard the script, he realised, that as an actor this was a way to make an impact in the fight to protect the environment. “This is what made it worth it. The series does not aim to preach anything, rather it intends to make the society aware of the environmental prospects by engaging the audience in an entertaining manner,” he said.

Of course, shooting an entire film within an auto rickshaw has its constraints. “It was difficult for Hassu to deliver all his emotions and reactions in that confined, closed space,” he pointed out.

Hassu tries to contribute to the environment through his small acts such as driving auto with clean fuel and not using plastic. With an environmental crisis staring us in the face, it is, of course, not surprising that people are more receptive towards a series that talks about the issue.

Diving into the memory lane, he said, “During my childhood, we enjoyed summer vacations. But now, the season has become unbearably hot.” He then flipped to the other extreme and said, “During winter, the air is so polluted that it is equivalent of inhaling two to three cigarette packets in a day. Which season do you step out in?”

Giving an insight into the series, co-writer, Protique Majoomdaar said, “The responsibility of content creators is to put the stories out accurately, which do justice to the audience and add meaning to their lives. This is a niche and at the same time unexplored content. Globally, the  biggest blockbuster is Avatar. This made us wonder, if the biggest thing on earth is really about earth. There is currency in environment.”

Roy admitted that he soared to unexpected heights of success through Kaminey. People loved his character Mikhail which not surprisingly is one of his favourite characters. The excitement in his voice was palpable at the mention of the hit song, Dhan Tana.

Script plays a crucial role for any actor while choosing a film. “The depth of the character and the difference it makes to the entire story is what makes me sign up a film. I put in my best efforts and leave it to the audience. I work without expectations,” said Chandan.

Talking about what makes the Bengali films different from the Hindi ones, he said, “They stress more on realism and are subtle. Bollywood is a tent of escapism from reality. It puts out a larger-than-life picture which has its own perks.” He tries to maintain a balance between the two.

His forthcoming movie, Jabariya Jodi is a romantic comedy with Parineeti Chopra and Siddharth Malhotra that talks about the custom of forced marriages in Bihar.

He also has a Bengali film Deep Six, which is a dark arthouse cinema with Chandan playing a depressive character.

(The web series is currently streaming on SonyLiv.)

Photo: Pankaj Kumar

Writer: Sakshi Sharma

Courtesy: The Pioneer

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