What do you assume about a debut director who replaced an eight-times National Award winner to take over the director's mantle? That he'd be a nervous man? Contrary to obvious assumption, director of Memories in March, Sanjoy Nag sounds a very confident man.
Talking about filling the big pair of shoes left behind by the very popular Bengali film director, Rituparno Ghosh, Sanjoy sounds very matter of fact. He points out, "I didn't think about it that way at all. After directing 18 films, Rituparno knows the kind of respect a director deserves. And I definitely got that respect from him as well. In fact, I never thought Deepti Naval would sign my film, but she did as well. No one, at all made me realise that I was a first-time director."
With big screen bigwigs like Rituparno, Deepti and the beautiful and effervescent Raima Sen in the film, Nag is glad that the sets were devoid of starry tantrums, that we often get to hear about, in the industry. Nag clarifies, "Instead, there was a lot of fun. There was no tantrum, even for a minute. In fact, we wrapped up the shoot within 12 days."
There was a lot to learn of course, from Rituparno, specifies the director. And that he would actually agree to act in the film (Rituparno has wriiten the script and the screenplay) was delightful to hear. Nag says, "Rituparno has acted in a film before, by the name of Just another Love Story. But while I was shooting my film, it was Ritu's first time (Just another Love Story released last year) And the best thing about having him as an actor is that he never makes mistakes. And even if he would, he will come and say sorry." In fact the director also adds that while shooting the film, the National Award-winning director was ill and spent most of his time resting when he was not required.
Working with Raima was his pleasure, according to Nag. In fact, while interacting with her, he made an interesting observation. Nag says, "Raima selects her films very carefully. It looks like she does not consciously want to be a part of mainstream cinema." Some of Raima's most notable performances in Bollywood have been in films like The Japanese Wife, Chokher Bali and Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. The director also informs that since the initial talks of the film started, the entire cast has been replaced with a new one, except Raima. "Raima is the oldest surviving member of this film," laughs Nag.
The film also stars Deepti Naval who after hearing of her son's death, travels to Kolkata to bring back his personal belongings. She meets a host of strangers in the city and realises that they knew her son better than she ever did.