If you have seen Pink, you would have experienced the gripping second half of the film which leaves you on a high in the end. It is the court-room drama which entails the dark reality of the society and raises question on the same. To make that lasting impression throughout the film, which is the case with Pink, the film has to flow smoothly. This was one difficult thing to do in Pink, where a lot of drama takes place at just one location at most parts – the courtroom. This is where Bodhaditya Banerjee, the editor of the film, comes into play.
Bodhaditya comes from Bengal, the place which gave us the great Satyajit Ray, the magnificent Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen and many other jewels of filmmaking. Shoojit Sircar, the producer of the film being another. He talks to Bollywoodirect about Pink, his journey thus far and why editing is a challenging task in filmmaking.
Q: How did your journey begin?
A: I have graduated from Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute in Kolkata. I was a student of film editing over there and it all started from there only. After passing out of the institute, I worked with some of the renowned editors. Then I started working as an independent editor. I did a lot of Bengali films in Kolkata. It was after that I started working with Aniruddha Roy Chowdhary, who also directed Pink. I worked with him in a short film ‘Devi’. During that time, he asked me to do this film with him.
Q: What was the inspiration of doing films?
A: I used to watch movies. During school days, I used to take out time to watch films. At that time, I remember, we used to buy tickets in black. Now, you won’t see tickets being sold in black. I used to see a lot of films coming from both hindi cinema as well as Hollywood. I grew up with films. When I was doing graduation in literature, I got inclined towards it even more.
Q: Pink is a very intense story. It has thrill, suspense and drama. What was the most challenging aspect of it as an editor?
A: The most challenging aspect was that it is a thriller. This kind of a thriller is very unprecedented. To keep the pace of such a film is very, very challenging. The entire second half of the film is court-room drama. The location is the same in this scenario. There are no visual dynamics. That’s what makes it an uphill task. But I am lucky I worked with a wonderful man called Shoojit Sircar, who is very, very energetic. He has amazing acumen regarding filmmaking, direction, editing. He is a super fantastic guy and it was a pleasure to work with him.
Q: For audience, who go to a film for an actor, and these days for a filmmaker, it is very important that they know how important a role is that of an editor is. Please put your thoughts on this.
A: The scope of editing has become very huge due to the emergence of digital platforms. You can do almost everything in post-production stage. This has increased the challenge of filmmaking to a huge extent. Editing is a completely evolving process. From the first cut to the final cut, the film evolves at the editing table. Sometimes, what you see in the end is not what you had written in the script. It is like building of a culture from a very nice tone.
Q: How often does a clash take place between an editor and a director?
A: I should not call it a ‘clash’. Even if you want to call it one, it is a ‘sweet clash’. Filmmaking is a collaborative process. Everybody works together. It is not just the one mind which is working together. Rather, different minds are working together. You may suggest something good and there could be someone else who could suggest something better. The best ideas are taken in the process. It’s a proper team game.
Q: What was the strongest point in Pink?
A: The strongest point of the film is its political stand. The message that it offers to the society. I don’t think that any film has come out with its message so openly and boldly. The message that the film has conveyed is very universal. It has a very, very strong message. That, I believe, is very important and maybe that is why the audience has loved the film so much.
Q: What is your advice to those who want to take up editing as their profession?
A: First of all, editing is a very challenging profession. Secondly, editing takes place in mind. People have many misconceptions related to editing. It is not just about being crafty and skilful. You need to be a very good storyteller. Editing, at the end of the day, is the art of telling the story on screen. Nothing else than that. You have to think like a storyteller. That has to be kept in mind when someone is entering this area of the field. Also, there is a lot of struggle. You need to give some time for you to propel.
Interview By: Shubham Pandey