By Abhigna Ghosh
No one nails an intense character better than Indraneil Sengupta. Whether it’s a pivotal character or a cameo, his presence has a lightning impact on the movie and takes its brilliance a notch high.
With his recent release 200 Halla Ho, he is once again all set to grab the eyeballs with his intense cop character Sameer Deshpande. The movie is inspired by a true event that entails the journey of 200 women taking justice into their own hands when the law turned a blind eye to them.
In a candid chat, Indraneil Sengupta speaks about his character, his experience of working with Amol Palekar, and gave us a sneak peek into his favorite part of the day!
What made you take up the role in 200 Halla Ho?
Indraneil: I felt it’s a story that needs to be told. The oppression of women, lower castes, and their never-ending fight for justice since eternity are subjects that are very relevant. I also loved the character I am playing and the value it adds to the narrative.
On the other side, Mr. Amol Palekar is a part of this film, and getting the opportunity to share the screen with an actor like him was a big opportunity for me. Another reason why I took up this role was Sarthak himself. I really liked his previous work and I wanted to work with him.
Since the story is inspired by real events, how did you prepare yourself for it?
Indraneil: I just read the script and followed Sarthak’s vision. I had received the detailing of my character and Sarthak helped me understand how exactly Sameer is. The way he talks and expresses himself, as well as his body language, all of these things, were explained to me by Sarthak and that’s all I used to portray my role.
In 200 Halla Ho, you portrayed the role of a cop who is honest but is restricted by the corrupt system. Did you have any apprehensions about playing a not-so-typical heroic cop?
Indraneil: I am not very fond of playing unrealistic heroic characters. My role in the movie upholds the realism of a cop’s life and that’s the kind of role I like playing.
The movie entails the story of public execution by 200 women. What is your take on public executions like these?
Indraneil: We are not trying to glorify public executions. We are trying to show that we need to hear and solve people’s grievances. If we keep oppressing them, then their anguish will erupt catastrophically and lead to incidents like this.
The movie was shot amidst the raging pandemic. Did you have any apprehensions while shooting during this situation?
Indraneil: Not really. In fact, 2-3 months into the pandemic, my apprehension went out of the window. I always knew that virus will catch up with almost everyone. Even I got infected last September. I’m not saying we should take it lightly and go out with no precautions.
But we cannot isolate ourselves at home forever, right? We need to work and go out. There is no point in living in fear. We just have to take necessary precautions, be as safe as possible and in case we do fall sick, we need to follow every safety guideline to prevent others from getting infected from us.
The production houses are also taking every precaution and safety measure so there’s nothing to worry about.
Do you have any memorable moments from the set that you want to share?
Indraneil: My most memorable moment would be shooting with Mr. Amol Palekar and our post-shoot chats. I would ask him a lot of questions about filmmaking and music composition in his time and his experience of working with certain co-actors. And he too would share a lot of stories from his past. It was a wonderful experience. Getting to see him act live and observing how he delivers his lines, his style and everything else is unforgettable for me.
You have done web series, movies, and TV shows of various types. What genre would you like to explore next?
Indraneil: I would like to try out crime thrillers with a higher magnitude of darkness. Also, there is a renowned Bengali character named Feluda, and playing that character is certainly on my wishlist.
What is your favorite part of your day?
Indraneil: My favorite part of the day is when I wake early in the morning and start my day with a fitness regime. That regime gives me a boost and a happy high. It makes me feel really satisfied and energetic for the entire day.
Is there anything new you learned or discovered about yourself from the pandemic lifestyle?
Indraneil: It hasn’t affected me much. I have always preferred being indoor in my own space. In the pandemic I have also taken to photography recently. I had a lot of time to explore myself and I’m pretty passionate about it now. But other than that, nothing much has changed.
Any future projects along the lines?
Indraneil : I have already shot a couple of projects and a few more lined up. However, I cannot reveal the names unless the production team makes an official announcement.