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Charlie’s Angels reloaded
Chick flicks have been a trend that clicked in Hollywood, and now even Tollywood is taking the cue. Mainak Bhaumik's Ami Aar Amar Girlfriends (Me And My Girlfriends) is all about female bonding a la Charlie's Angels. The Bengali chick flick, set for release on April 26, is about three young women - played by Swastika Mukherjee, Raima Sen and Parno Mitra - their everyday problems and how they face life with one another's help. Swastika plays an academic counselor who is having problems with her husband, while Raima is a fiction writer who is still financially reliant on her father. She isn't sure about getting married and settling down. Parno is a young radio jockey who is desperate to hook up with men, but has no sense of fashion and fails each time she tries.
The 32-year-old director says he wanted to celebrate female bonding in his film. "Most males aren't even remotely aware of the girl world. Women's approach to issues is very different from guys and female bonding is much deeper than male bonding. Girls lean on one another much more intensely than guys. I wanted to showcase this in the film. This movie dwells on the unique psyche of women, their lives, friendship, fun and everything. It looks at all these aspects sensitively and in an entertaining manner, " he says.
The film is also a bold one with the three women presented in skimpy beachwear and taking swigs of beer. Mainak says the three have been shown in exactly the manner three career-driven contemporary young women would talk, walk, dress, hang out and have fun.
Mainak, who grew up in New York and Kolkata and shuttles between the two cities, says the movie had been on his mind since 2007. "I moved to Kolkata in middle school and went back to New York for college. I kept returning to do a few documentaries on folk art and culture. I noticed that the Kolkata I knew in early life had transformed. The youngsters were more hip, and coffee was being sipped in trendy cafês and not just the drab old Coffee House, " he says.
One of his favourite hangouts was a coffee shop at Gol Park in south Kolkata, where he met three young guys and their girlfriends. "The three girls became much closer to me than their boyfriends and accepted me into their circle as another girlfriend. That was how I got to know all about the girl world, " says Mainak. Ami Aar Amar Girlfriends is based loosely on these three young women, which is why Mainak says the film is biographical.
The movie is multilingual with conversations in Hindi and English. The title song too is in English. Early last year, while Mainak was shooting for his Maach, Misti and More (another fun film that featured Raima, Swastika and Parno), he decided to start working on Ami Aar Amar Girlfriends.
"The three (Raima, Swastika and Parno) had become my close friends by that time and I thought I should cast them in this movie as well since they fit the characters I had in mind and are so much fun to work with. I had got to know their little eccentricities and quirks and have included those in a very entertaining way in this movie, " says Mainak, an economics graduate from the New York State University. It took him a few weeks to write the script. Shooting started in June last year and was completed by August.
The actors say they had loads of fun while shooting the film. "We were just ourselves. I could relate to the character, " says Raima.
Mainak, who made the Bengali film industry's first sex comedy titled Aamra in 2006, followed by Bedroom and Maach Misti And More (both were released last year), says his next movie will be a serious one that will show the hypocrisy in present-day society.
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