PeepingMoon Exclusive: ‘At the end of the day it’s a story of a married couple with a child,’ says Barkha Bisht on teaming with husband Indraneil Sengupta in short film Choices

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Real-life couple Barkha Bisht and Indraneil Sengupta has come together to work on a short film called Choices which released on MX player, and depicts how relationships were affected because of the lockdown when family members were stuck with each other.

Now,in an exclusive interview with PeepingMoon.com, Barkha spoke about working with Indraneil and directors Damini and Raaj on the film. She also shared her viewpoints on the paradigm shift that has taken place in families, the lockdown and sharing screen-space with her hubby bringing a married couple’s trials to fore.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Barkha (@barkhasengupta)

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Excerpts from the interview:

During the lockdown many people came forward to say they are getting a chance to spend time with family and spouses, so how did you embark on this not-so rosy picture about the scenario in Choices?

Well, honestly the lockdown was really a chance to spend time with family and spouses and that part was definitely rosy but not the rosy picture was the fact, you know there was so much work to be done in a house which we don’t do on a normal daily basis. It is something that we know to do but we don’t do it because we have help around the house and we are also busy working; so I wouldn’t call it not rosy but it was definitely challenging because we are doing something that we are not used to or have not done it for so many years so that was definitely it and you know there was a scarcity of food items atleast initially and do you are stuck at home, can’t meet anybody and don’t even know how long it will go on. So that was something that was not rosy but it was still good.

Was it difficult to act as reel husband and wife and portray the anger and irritation on screen for you all?

Well, Indraneil and I are both actors so we’re professionals in our own rights so you know to shout at my spouse or for him to shout at me for a scene wasn’t difficult or weird as we are actors. So from a professional standpoint it wasn’t difficult; I could have done it with any other co-star as I did it with Neil, it’s not like I had any apprehensions shouting at my husband or whatever, you know we are both actors and we treat our professional lives very differently so there was no problem as such.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Barkha (@barkhasengupta)

What excited you about the film Choices?

What excited us about this was doing something because during the lockdown we were doing nothing except household chores. So doing something related to our profession which was to act, so basically we were like, “Ok this sounds like a great idea,” so it started with that; then obviously the novelty of shooting something during the lockdown you know, to shoot something during a complete lockdown with just two people and our directors online was very novel and that drew us to it. And of course, the script was very interesting, it was very relatable in a lot of ways and that’s why we decided to do it.

Did you incorporate any of your own real-life situation in the film?

Well, honestly the couple we portray on screen is not how we are in real life, so I don’t know how much we really put in it. But few scenes, here and there, maybe doing the housework that came to us very naturally, the irritation associated with it and the expectation of me doing things in a certain way and Neil doing it in a certain way or you know the scene in which we have dinner in our balcony when we call it a ‘date’, that’s something Neil and I do. We’ve set up a table in our garden and had dinner and called it a ‘date’, so few things like that. After all, at the end of the day it’s a story of a married couple with a child so relatability and connection is obviously there but in small bits and pieces.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Barkha (@barkhasengupta)

Why do you think the family paradigm has shifted so drastically today as compared to what it was before?

The family paradigm has shifted dramatically and drastically because I feel our lives have become too busy or we’ve chosen to make our lives very busy and that is the only thing. I feel the entire focus has been shifted to working more and earning more money, doing better and buying more things, buying luxury and buying more than what we had. I think all of that has shifted the paradigm completely and in the process of doing all this the tolerance level, the patience level, the ability to empathize that I think has gone down drastically and the family has kind of taken a backseat for a lot of couples for a lot of families, working individuals their identity is coming out to be much stronger unfortunately.

How was it working with Damini, a woman director?

Well having a woman to direct is great. Being a woman it might sound feminist but I think there is a deeper level of understanding of emotions that comes from a woman and without being pompous about it, we women are deeper emotionally than most men so in order to understand the deeper emotions of the story, of character, of relationships I think comes to us more easily than men. So I would say that working with Damini has been great because there have been so many insights she told us, shared with us that made us understand the story better as actors and as individuals to portray what she wants us to becomes a little easier and women are also better at communications skills so it is advantageous to have a woman direct you.

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