As Assamese film Aamis hits theatres on 22 November, we chat with the lead actors of the critically-acclaimed film. Arghadeep Barua and Lima Das, who are making a debut in Bhaskar Hazarik’s film, tell us what they thought when they read the script of this unusual love story and if they have any plans to work in the Hindi film industry.
What was your reaction when you read the script?
Lima: When I first read the script, I was very excited because I knew right away that this is going to be a very, very unique kind of a film. It is a kind of film which I always wanted to do. My character is that of a pediatrician, who is in her late 30s. Her personality is one which I could, you know, identify myself with and I’m really really excited and looking forward to it.
Arghadeep: So, as a film enthusiast, I loved it instantly. I was awed by the whole idea of the story. The moment I realised that I’m reading the script to be one of the leads for the film, I was very very reluctant for the fact that I’ve never done acting before in my life. I really didn’t want to do injustice to it.
Why did you choose Aamis as your first film?
Lima: It is one film that probably I was waiting for. I didn’t choose Aamis, it just came along my way at such a beautiful point in my life. I am very happy and very thankful to everyone who believed in me and offered me this role.
Arghadeep: Since this is the first film that came to me there was an instant connection to the film. I think I didn’t have any option also. I initially thought, I’ll be doing the workshop and then they will say that I’m not good enough and they’ll send me but they chose me. So, the film chose me and not me who chose Aamis.
The film has got great reviews. Even got a standing ovation at MAMI. Did you expect this kind of response?
Lima: When we started doing, you know, work in Aamis, we never even imagined that we would get such a wonderful response from the audience. This was like a story we had to tell. So, we are indeed very happy and we are very grateful to everybody who supported us.
Arghadeep: Yes, we never make a film expecting that we will get any response like this. As it is going to be released on 22 November in our own land, so we’re really hoping that this trend will continue and people will keep showering their love towards the film.
The film releases on 22 November. Do you think this day will change your life?
Lima: I really don’t think so. I have a job, I am a doctor and I’m also a classical dancer. Films will be definitely a part of my life from now on. But I have always aspired to be a better artist and to be an artist, one has to remain grounded.
Arghadeep: From a personal point of view, no, because life moves on. I have a band, Bottle Rockets India and we have to keep working on our compositions.
The best compliment you have got till now?
Lima: People have been really very kind, very generous with their words. And I’m very, very thankful and very humbled for whatever way they have encouraged me. But I guess the best compliment is probably the award which they gave me at the Singapore South Asian Film Festival, the Best Actor Award, because I guess that just sums it up.
Arghadeep: On a personal level, I feel that the fact Anurag Kashyap is presenting the film. After that, the fact that Anupama Chopra said that our performances have, you know, enforced honesty. Coming from someone like her, it really means a lot.
Have you ever thought of trying your luck in Bollywood?
Lima: I’ll definitely consider doing good cinema. Doing a good film is more important to me than doing a film in Tollywood or Bollywood or elsewhere. So I will aspire to be a good actor and to work on more interesting scripts that come along.
Arghadeep: No temptations yet. Trying luck there as a filmmaker or as a band or as a musician is definitely there in mind. As an actor, I still don’t know because I’m still very new to this whole art of acting.
What are the things that you can do for love?
Lima: I can surely eat aamis (meat) for love.
Arghadeep: I don’t think I am the right person to answer this question.
What different kinds of meat have you tried?
Arghadeep: So recently I was in Kohima to attend the International Kohima Film Festival representing Aamis there. So I had this opportunity to try grasshopper fry with maggi. It was really, really, really good. I mean, it’s at par with prawns. And secondly, I tried mithun chutney when I was in Arunachal. It’s amazing. You guys should try.