Remember that sales man who tried to sell you a vacuum cleaner on Sunday? He knocked. You opened the door and chatted briefly. He tried to sell you something. You said ‘No.’ He walked away.
It happens every other day. You meet strangers, you talk, you exchange pleasantries… say Nomoshkar and get on with life.
But if you watched Kahaani, then you’ll think twice before doing something as trivial as opening a door or a window to a stranger especially if he is an innocent-looking bangali babu, with big-black spectacles and an even bigger paunch.
Everyone’s talking about Bob Biswas — the silent killer whose Nomoshkar now gives us goose bumps. With almost 11, 000 'likes' on his Facebook page which started not even a month back, Biswas has made the nation go berserk about him and forget Bidda Bagchi. And
there’s more —A graphic novel is also being planned based on the hitman character.
The character is played by Saswata Chatterjee, a famous Bengali actor whose success was limited to Bengal till Kahaani happened. From being the Topshe in Feluda, the greedy Bhai-Da in Bong Connection, the psychiatrist in disguise Anupam Ghatak in Rang Milanti to the doctor who gave up his career to start a travel agency in Chalo Let’s Go, Chatterjee has always been a favourite for Bengalis.
But Kahaani gave the 42-year-old a big leap and grand success which he was ‘hardly expecting,’ he admits. “I gave my best, like I do for all movies. Definitely wasn’t expecting Bob to be such a huge hit.”
But is Chatterjee anything close to Bob? Not at all.
Talking to Firstpost, Chatterjee said: “Although Bob’s life is completely about cellphones, I don’t even own one. I have never owned one. They are such distraction.”
So how did he manage to become such a cell phone addict in the movie?
“Acting is my job. That has to be learnt”, he says.
On being asked about how he got into the character he said, “Bob Biswas is unfit, has a big bhuri (paunch), I definitely did not have to work on that!
“The character is extremely worried about his receding hairline and would keep rubbing his finger nails against each other; Sujoy said that apparently helps in growing hair. So, I kept practicing that for quite sometime.”
In Saswata’s words, the character required some ‘solid attitude’ and he being a director’s actor “did whatever Sujoy wanted.”
“The response has been overwhelming,” he says.
But the biggest compliment? The actor says it was from singer Usha Uthup.
“The day Kaahani released, Usha di called from Cochin and said, Darling, I never knew you could be so mean.”
His wife Mahua was also terrified while watching the movie in the theatre.
“When Bob killed a character in the movie, Mahua was so scared she jumped on her seat and held my hand tight. So I quietly whispered to her, ‘Bob is sitting right beside you’. It was a great thrill.”
But did he always want to become a character actor or a hero?
Saswata says he never wanted to be an actor in the first place. It was destiny that brought him here. However, all that he wants to achieve is “Make people cry, laugh and think along with the character”.