Up close with Purnima
The doe-eyed quintessential Bengali beauty Purnima is perhaps the reigning dream girl in Bangladeshi cinema. She has been a part of the film industry for over a decade now, and has won the hearts of millions throughout the country.
Purnima entered the film industry when she was a student of Class 9 at Science Laboratory School. Director Zakir Hossain Raju discovered her. However, before joining the industry as a lead actress, she had done Shotru Ghayel with Rubel as a child artiste.As a youngster, everyone around Purnima adored her. “I was a naughty kid but my teachers could never punish me. My ‘gullible’ and ‘naive’ looks would always melt their heart,” admits Purnima. However when she was punished, she would discretely tie up the shoelaces of her teachers. “While they couldn’t do anything about it, they would end up complaining to my mother,” she recalls.
Although she is constantly in the public eye, Purnima says she is a homebody. She doesn’t like interacting with strangers unless it’s related to her profession. In her own words, ” I am outright unsocial, I don’t like partying, I would rather sit in a corner in my room and spend time listening to music.”
Answering a question on how she handles fame, Purnima responds: “I am comfortable with my popularity. In Bangladesh we are not hunted down by the paparazzi like in the West. Only during a shoot there is a crowd, but they are decent. If I go out, hardly anyone bothers me. Besides we are what we are because of our fans. I have chosen a public career so I should know how to deal with it.”
Purnima prefers movies to serials or advertisements. “The film industry is my second home. As it takes months or even years to complete a movie, the relationship between actors and the crew develops. It’s like one big family. Besides everyone in the industry pampers me like a child. I just love being here.” Besides in certain ways serials are more complicated feels Purnima. “One needs to memorise lengthy scripts and there are not many retakes. One has to maintain one’s own wardrobe and makeup unlike in the movie industry in our neighbouring country or in the West where everything is taken care of by others.”
Purnima talks about the plight of the Bangladeshi movie industry compared to its counterpart in India. “It’s actually sad to see how the Bangladeshi movie industry is deteriorating. At one point we were doing better than Tollywood (the movie industry of Kolkata) but today we are lagging behind. There is no point in even trying to compare ourselves with Bollywood.” The main problem Purnima feels is our use of old technology. “We still have the same old cameras, lights and other equipments that were used 25 years ago. How can one expect to keep up if there is nothing new to offer?”
Purnima calls on cine-enthusiasts to watch mainstream Bangla movies. “While there are indecent movies, there are good movies as well. People should not sneer at us just because we are from the Bangladeshi cine world. We do try to make good movies and need support from the audience. So please watch our movies and then you have a right to be judgmental,” concludes Purnima.