Nawazuddin Siddiqui feels privileged to have worked with Buddhadeb Dasgupta in one of his last films. “When he offered me Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa I accepted it without a second thought. It isn’t every day that one gets a chance to work with a director with such a unique vision. Buddhada was one of the filmmakers I respected the most as I studied to be an actor at the NDS.His films like Andhi Gali and Tahader Katha are classics of modern cinema,” says Nawaz.
On receiving the offer to play the titular role in Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa Nawaz says, “It was Buddhada and it was in Hindi. He hardly made films in Hindi. I can only remember Pavan Malhotra in Bagh Bahadur. I quickly said yes. No money was discussed. There are some films that one does for just the satisfaction of being an actor. Mithunda did hardcore mainstream Hindi cinema and still found time to do Buddhada’s Tahader Katha and Kalpurush. Money, one can get elsewhere. But the satisfaction of working with a director like Buddhada is priceless.”
Nawaz found Dasgupta’s style unique. “He did these long trolley shots, really lengthy shots, where he captured characters simultaneously in long-shots and close-ups. The result was unique. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
After Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa was complete, Nawaz met the director when he came to Mumbai to sell the film. “Back then there were no buyers for a film like Anwar ka Ajab Kissa. Thank God for the OTT platform, people were finally able to see this extraordinary film last year.”
Adds actor Chandan Roy Sanyal, “Buddhada was very pivotal in my life. I had the greatest honour of doing his last two films Tope and Urojahaj and was supposed to do his next too. I grew up watching his films in a Bengali household in Delhi. He was a filmmaker in league with the greatest in Bengal. I have no words to describe his loss and how his presence shaped me as an artist. I have the qualification every actor would love to have: a Buddhadeb actor.”
Image source: SpotboyE archives, Instagram/iamroysanyal, IMDb