Before Parcel’s second innings of theatrical release, we revisit the interview where Anindya discussed the film with Rituparna Sengupta, Saswata Chatterjee, Indrasis Acharya and Joy Sarkar. Indrasis Acharya directorial, Parcel has secured its place among many ‘Best films of 2020’ list for the year. Initially released in theatres on 13th March 2020, Parcel’s run in theatres ended when cinemas closed a week later due to the nationwide lockdown imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After a gap of 7 months, Parcel is being re-released in theaters on 15th October 2020.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
To director Indrasis Acharya:
Anindya: Indrasis da, when you won the Best Director Award for Parcel in Kolkata International Film Festival, as far as we know, you weren’t in Kolkata. What was your reaction when you got the news?
Indrasis Acharya: Yes, I was in Shantiniketan, it was a trip planned long before. It was evening when someone called me to inform me of this. I did not realise that I won in KIFF, I thought it was some other award. Then, I got a call from Joy (Sarkar) telling me “Congrats, you have won it!”, and I said “yes, so? Why so excited”, then I finally realized that I won in KIFF.
Saswata: I also called.
Indrasis: No you didn’t.
Saswata: Oh yes, and I was the one receiving it on stage.
Indrasis: I asked you if it reached safely.
Saswata: Anyways, I didn’t have a phone on stage.
Indrasis: (To Anindya) But any award from any accredited Film Festival sure does feel good. And, the best thing about awards is, once you get it, it’s there for life. You don’t have to retain it. That is really unique.
Anindya: In quite a few interviews you have said that this is a different kind of thriller. So the usual texture, structure or the editing pattern we associate with a thriller is not in it? Tell us for the audiences how is it different?
Indrasis: I wont say its a different kind of thriller, but would rather like to think that I have tried to redefine this genre. Reason being, I have kept less thrilling elements in this than what we usually see in a thriller but what I have kept is the psychological undertone. So there won’t be frequent adrenaline rushes, but there will be less dopamine rushes (laughter).
To Rituparna Sengupta:
Anindya: Ritu di, let me ask a direct question and you can choose not to answer. Your role in this film, and by role I don’t just mean the character you played, but also the role of the co-producer, is two fold. So, if you hadn’t acted in this film, would you….and why would you have said yes to this film?
Rituparna Sengupta: No, I had a dual interest in the film, let me be very clear. I wouldn’t have done this if I were only co-producing the film. If scripts which give me a chance to nurture the Actor in me, come to me, then I would rather choose to act and produce it, than just produce it. When I produced Icche, I knew there is no role where I fit, so I only produced it. But, here I could clearly see a character where I know that this is my role. I am being very honest about it. So I would definitely opt for the character rather than just producing the film. Maybe that could be done with some other films, but not with this one.
Also, I am satisfied not just as an actor but also as a producer, particularly when Parcel is travelling to different Film Festivals and getting acceptance. Also, I never did movies just for commercial benefits. Cinema for me is much bigger than just a means to make materialistic gains. So films like these give me a certain amount of satisfaction which keeps me going.
To Saswata Chatterjee:
Anindya: Apu da, how did this role come to you?
Saswata: The role came to me when Indrasis offered it. Indrasis may be able to add more why he offered it to me, but I would say the character is very interesting. In fact, not just my character, but every single character in this film is equally interesting. Even the music in this film is a character. All actors, whether they acted for one scene or two, have had a tremendous impact. No character has been in the story without a reason. There is a character whose voice we hear in the film and don’t even see the character, even that produced an overwhelming response in the theatre.
To Joy Sarkar:
Anindya: Joy da, this is your third film with Indrasis Acharya. So was there a separate bried of Parcel or now you know if he has a set pattern?
Joy Sarkar: Indrasis doesn’t believe in any set pattern. While working with him on his first film, I realized that he does not think about music the way others do, but he creates a separate space for music in his film for which I can’t take any credit. But, still, his approach towards music in Parcel is completely different from his approach on his first two films. I cant put the music of his three films through one straight line.
In case of Parcel, a particular instrumental piece occupies a very important space in the narrative. That piece appears from start till finish, but what is conveyed, keeps changing throughout. Background music is composed after the film is shot, but here he briefed me about it well in advance about.The piece which is a western classical music is very important for me, and also I haven’t composed any piece before Parcel which is completely western classical. Now, though this is a small piece, I had to compose it adhering to the correct grammar for it as there was an orchestra involved. The scenes where the kid plays the violin, comes repeatedly with that piece in the background throughout the narrative, and everytime the music conveyed something different as different events were happening in and around those scenes, which were all very well planned. Also, tries to make sure that the actors themselves are singing in his films, so this helps avoid any audio jerks.
Watch the full interview on the YouTube channel of Cybertalkies.