Joy Sengupta: ‘Bilu Rakkhosh’ wasn’t a typical sentimental feel-good film

Joy Sengupta prefers to keep a low-profile and is one of those actors who don’t show off their rich experience and versatility. Making his screen debut in Govind Nihalani’s ‘Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa’ he is also known as the ‘Amitabh Bachchan’ of English theatre in Mumbai. It has taken him across continents, earning him invitations to teach at top level management institutes while receiving some wonderful reviews on international arena. As his 2017 film ‘Bilu Rakkhosh’ completes three years we got in touch with the versatile actor for a brief chat.

We asked Joy if Bilu was created from real-life experience and the seasoned actor reveals Bilu demanded a three-pronged approach —the personal, professional and social.

“My father is originally from North Calcutta, so it’s very close to where Bilu of the film lives. I am well aware of the rich sounds, tastes, emotional pitch of the Karbala Tank Lane. I experienced a see-saw of emotions inside my middle-class ambience. I have seen my North Kolkata joint family splitting for the right reasons. I witnessed a portion of movements and transitions as we shifted from Karbala Tank Lane to Dumdum and then Delhi. I have gone through turbulence in my personal relationships, including a broken marriage. I have preferred to work with kids always and I feel really attached to them. All these experiences aided me when playing the character Bilu,” explains Joy during an exclusive chat with ETimes.

We further asked him whether ‘Bilu Rakkhosh’ perhaps the most challenging role he has played in Bengali cinema so far.

“Yes, Bilu Rakhhosh was challenging at different levels. It was never a linear narrative, or a typical sentimental feel-good film which you often see. It had both cerebral and emotional aspect. It’s like fragmentation of time and space leading to a process of filmmaking and acting different from the usual. Yet we did it on a shoe-string budget with all those constraints. So, you can imagine the level of hard work, cooperation and sacrifice we did.”

Indrasis Acharya directed ‘Bilu Rakkhosh’ received critical acclaim and was applauded on several international film festivals but still, remains one of most criminally underrated films in Tollywood in recent times.