Anirban Bhattacharya and Chanchal Chowdhury participated in a debate organised by Hoichoi just before the release of Part 2 of “Karagar,” which was made available to the public on December 22. Since Chanchal started performing in Kolkata’s theatres, the two have known each other and typically refer to one another as “Boro Babu” and “Choto Babu.”In a cosy, friendly discussion, the two shared their insights on art and being artists.
Despite international borders, West Bengal and Bangladesh share cultural origins in entertainment. With the advent of OTT, this convergence has reached new heights. Anirban remarked on the shared history of both Bengals and asserted that art is so potent that it soothes the agony of a harsh past. Art is a reminder that our similarities far outweigh our differences.
Anirban asserted that Chanchal was a healer during the terrible post-pandemic period. Chanchal responded with his signature modesty, stating that he enjoys acting but is dubious of his genuine skill. Chanchal stated that artists have a vital role in the development of society through art. “Artists should not compare mediums and instead devote their work to their audiences,” said Chanchal.
The two talked about the evolution of art. Anirban mentioned how, previously, it was mostly about making up imaginary characters, unconnected to reality, whereas now it is about relatable stories and characters. Chanchal was also delighted to share his observation on the topic.
Chanchal stated that he and modern artists are incredibly fortunate to be able to tell the experiences of actual people. But, he said, “Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, and Mrinal Sen, great Bangladeshi filmmakers, set the door for this type of storytelling for the public. As a result, the calculations have been inverted, and the distinction between the mainstream and the rest has become less apparent.”
In support of his position, Chanchal added the significance of incorporating faith into art. He explained that we lack confidence in society, politics, relationships, and many other things. Nonetheless, this notion is essential for art. Suppose, for instance; an artist does not believe in his work, assuming they are the character. In such a scenario, audiences won’t trust it either, rendering any true relationship with them impossible.
Anirban praised Chanchal’s highly expressive eyes, brilliantly narrating his characters’ inner thinking. Chanchal explained his working process, saying he can’t see his eyes during shooting, so his belief drives that narration. From his observations and surroundings, he builds up the character that he plays and solely believes he is that character.
However, this endeavour requires significant commitment. Chanchal stated that he is frequently forgetful the night before a shoot, unable to recall what others say. He argues that such mental solitude is necessary to transform into specialised roles. The actor emphasised the necessity of sensitivity to genuine emotions, allowing an artist to develop an emotional side that may be included in their work.
Chanchal commended Anirban’s recent ventures, such as “Mandaar” and his work on stage, stating that Anirban has both the commitment and talent to create excellent art. The two continued to discuss the trade-off between job quality and quantity. Chanchal indicated that he does not leave work until he is entirely satisfied, and had he not done so, he certainly would have had more free time. However, Chanchal feels that modesty is sufficient, as he has learnt from years of theatre experience. “When we die, we can no longer use our money. However, via excellent performance, an artist will be remembered forever by the audience, “explained Chanchal.
The significance of establishing a standard for the future generation of artists was another topic that the two appeared to feel strongly about. They discussed the disappointment they experienced with prior symbols and agreed that this served as a warning not to follow suit.
After that, they talked about themselves, and Chanchal said that he used to be a gourmand but is now “hungry for a good job.” Chanchal finds great satisfaction in taking his son on adventures as a father. He did, however, emphasise fulfilling one’s responsibilities to one’s loved ones. The “Hawa” actor said it’s hypocritical to say you love everyone if you’re not dedicated to your own family.
Chanchal continued by expressing his apprehension about future ventures and the likelihood of repetition. He believes the situation would have been more straightforward if more individuals shared their views. Lastly, Chanchal emphasised that art cannot endure without the scar of time, a belief he has always held.