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Friday, March 06, 2009

Vivek: The Fresh Face of Bangla Cinema

Vivek Trivedi is one of the new kids on the Bangla mainstream cinema scene, and one thing is certain - he is here to stay! Here is a heart-to-heart chat that the young hero had with me, and - for the first time on my blog - I am reproducing a candid conversation with a celebrity!!!!

Hi Vivek, I am so glad that you have taken time out from your busy schedule to have this chat with me. First, I would like to know what keeps you busy these days. Your first film 'Prem' had released almost a couple a of years back, right?

Vivek: Ya, after 'Prem', that was released in May, 2007, I did a few more films but sadly only one more got released.

Which one was that?

It was called 'Bhalobashar Dibbi', and it was directed by Milan Bhowmik. It starred Roopa Ganguly, Mukesh Khanna in the cast too. The other films got stuck for several reasons. However, I am expecting the release of a slew of films in the months to come.

Wow! That's great news! You must be too busy with the shoots of late...

Vivek: Ya, you can say so. I am excited about the new films that I have been currently working on. Especially, 'Ronnie Aar Bonnie', 'Phire Pete Chaai'

Besides, shooting for the films, you have also been busy with shows...

Vivek: Yes, in winter - when it is supposed to be the peak season for us performers - we have to tour the rural districts. The small townships and the suburban centres are where the filmstars from Tollygunge are really adored.

The stage shows must be really hectic, aren't they?

Vivek: Yes, the travelling can be termed hectic, performing in these live shows isn't such a big problem though.

Is your eldest sister, Priyanka, who is a major draw for the audience in Bengal, also a part of the same touring troupe?

Vivek: Right. There's the Priyanka-Jeet duo, one of the bet loved pairs post-'Saathi', and I am paired with Shreya, who was my co-star in my debut film.

Okay, let me ask you something that is uppermost in my mind... what do you think of the so-called resurgence of Bangla cinema? Many of the Bangla films have had great success in the recent few years, do you feel buoyant?

Vivek: The entire scenario, thankfully, has been changing for the better. In fact, I consider 'Saathi' to be a major turnaround for Bangla commercial cinema. The general look of the films has improved by several notches. The scale of the films, their mounting and the production values are high. The films in spite of catering to the tastes of the regional audience are being given a polish and an edge that had been non-existent a few years back.

The makers, and even the stars, seem more confident when it comes to the style quotient booming up; what do you say?

Vivek: The song sequences of quite a few Bangla films are being shot overseas nowadays, be it in Singapore, Malayasia or other global scenic locales. So, I would agree that the things definitely look promising.

And what about the schism between the mainstream films and the so-called parallel or alternative cinema?

Vivek: See, I have till now been associated with only the mainstream or commercial films that has its own viewership. Largely, these films are in great demand in places like Midnapore, Birbhum and Bankura. Not that the mainstream films are viewed in the cities, they often get a bumper response in the single-screen theaters in and around Kolkata.

I am sure you are aware of the recent mainstream cult hits like 'Chirodini Tumi Je Aamar' and 'Mon Maane Na' which have opened in-roads for new makers, as well as launched several fresh faces....

Vivek: Very much so... the songs, the story-telling - even though many are remakes of cult-hits from the South- and the marketing have all been contributing factors.

After Mithun, Prosenjit & Jeet having been the crowd-pullers for a really long time, there are quite a few new heroes in Tollygunge who have been doing well, like Hiran, Dev, Soham, Rahul and even you...

Vivek: Well, I am counting a lot on the upcoming ventures of mine, Surajit Biswas's 'Tumi Jodi Aamar Hote', Tapan Banerjee's 'Rajdrohi', Mrityunjay Roy's 'Aamar Antare Tumi' are all films that are expected to augur well. Let's see if I'm lucky enough in becoming the people's favorite... a long way to go.

Luck plays a major role too in becoming successful in this tinsel world, no?

Vivek: It does, and I very much believe in luck. Film-making involves a lot of risk-taking, and the people working in films are naturally great-believers in the luck-factor!

On a different note, don't you rue the fact that still a large section of the city folks snub the Bangla mainstream films as being crass and downmarket? They do not even get released in the city's multiplexes!

Vivek: Look, you have to understand the ground reality.... the multiplexes in Kolkata, where the average price of a ticket is 150 bucks, is not where the average movie-goer, who's interested in Bangla films, goes to watch our films! The market for our films lying elsewhere, the release of our films in the city multiplexes is not yet feasible. It is all a question of realistc demands.

Finally, let me say that I love the fact that you are so amiable and down-to-earth, in spite of having had a grooming in the US.. you are the youngest in the family, right? You do seem very confident and poised..

Vivek: Thank you... I was born here in Kolkata, I am the youngest - my sisters Priyanka and Apsara, both having had their share of limelight. We had shifted to the US during my childhood. I have also been to Singapore and have stayed in Mumbai for a while too. I consider myself to be a thoroughbred Kolkatan and it is here that I have been working. So, there!

The chat does come to a close..... but let me convey my earnest good wishes to you, Vivek. I hope you make a big name for yourself and make all of us proud too.

[Pics courtesy: The Telegraph; seen from top:Vivek with Ferdous & Rituparna Sengupta, and Vivek with co-star Shreya]


iman said...

hi buddy!!!
that's good ya... it was a cool conversation, unfortunately i haven't seen any Vivek starrer movie till date but now i'm eagerly waiting to... these day's in Bangla cinema it's having a lot of scope for the new kids and i think one nice day Vivek would make his own position in the industery also being brought up in US and the strong educational background make would make him to select from the right kind of script, i wish All The Best to Vivek and to you also for posting a slice of your cool connection in your Blog-book. :)

Aniruddh said...

Vivek is surely a welcome change from the regular heroes of Tollywood. He holds much promise; as do the other new blokes like Dev, Hiran, Rahul, Angshuman, Soham, Rishi and Ritwick.
Though he is till date better known as Priyanka Trivedi's brother, I am sure he will win the hearts of all viewers once he bags really good roles where he can show his flair and competence!

saurabh said...

After years of distancing themselves from mainstream Bangla films, the urban audience is finally waking up to the mainstram films from Tollygunge. Films like 'Antaheen', 'Jackpot', 'Khela', 'Kailashe Kelenkari', 'Tintorettor Jishu', 'Chirodini Tumi Je Aamaar', 'Aamra', 'Dosar', 'Bhalobasa Bhalobasa' are just some of the recent titles that have drawn crowds from all walks of life.

Creating a greater market for regional cinema has many advantages. It creates a more dynamic film industry which will be very good for the economy. The film teams must view themselves as a business entities. It is only through the success of mainstream Bangla films that more people will be keen to invest in the regional film industry. A certain amount of professionalism needs to be maintained, and competition is a key-factor, as the lack of competition stifles creativity! Efficient filmmakers and competent actors are seriously in demand. It is here that fresh faces like Vivek can be the harbinger of change. I wish him all the best in his future projects.

However, the exhibition system of films should also be improved. The cinema halls should have better atmosphere alongside attractive amenities to pull crowds back to the cinema halls. Moreover, incorporation of technological advances like wider high definition screens and sound facilities need to be incorporated.

jaison said...

Merely being a fresh face DOES NOT help; sorry, but it's true! PLus, Vivek/Bibek Trivedi can hardly be called that FRESH!!!!!! Vivek, a.k.a. Vinayak, Trivedi has acted only in inane potboilers until now, and hence one cannot choose to be much optimistic about his future in films!
Unlike Priyanka, who has to her credit one of the biggest Bengali blockbusters (she had actually got a boost from down South where she has managed to bag not just decent flicks but even the marital alliance with one of the biggest superstars of Kannada cinema, Upendra), Vivek has to prove his worth before fizzling into oblivion!!!!!!!

Pankaj said...

The Bengali films that Vivek Trivedi happens to represent is unfortunately plagued by a case of mistaken identity. Umpteen cheap remakes of Hindi, Telugu, or Tamil cinema can hardly add to freshness of any kind. Rather, it stinks as stale adulterated liquor!

Farzana said...

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souryanegger said...

He was my neighbor in Kolkata in and around 1997-1998. He is around 2 years younger and used to play cricket with the neighborhood boys. In fact, I had gone to watch his sis Priyanka's debut film "Jodhha" in the same car with his sisters and him. One strange thing though: he wasn't named Vivek, but Vinayak. No idea why he changed his name.

Anindo Sen said...

Thanks for your comments.
At heart, Vivek is a good guy, and extremely affable and warm.
Vivek's name did happen to be known by the name Vinayak earlier, but the demands and the ways of tinsel town are strange indeed, hence the name change.
In fact, Vivek has yet again changed the name, I guess due to numerological compulsions, he's now known as Veivek - that's how you can find him on Facebook!

Akshay G. said...

Some guys do not make the mark as an actor despite many a factor working in their favor.
Vivek/Vinayak/veivek/Viveikk had a big splash of a launch, he has the good looks and the best connections..... yet he is yet to break the proverbial jinx..... can't give up on him as an actor, maybe he'll need a 'reboot' yet again (this time on television?) - who knows?