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Rituparno Ghosh- Neither an eulogy nor a critical review - Angshu Chatterjee


Bengali cinema is not what it used to be in the classic black & white ages of thoughtful story telling. Among hundreds of stupendously horrific, mind-numbingly stupid, half baked, ill-conceived bunch of stories that come out in the form of movies every other week from Tollywood (not the Telugu movie industry!), there are only a handful which still carries the baton of the legacy of Bengali movies. Rituparno Ghosh's creations are one of those which in today's dark ages still shines on and quiet deservedly so.  

 Comparison is probably the most destructive form of criticism but, comparison of art form by two unique individuals with two very unique expressions of a similar subject is beyond forgiveness however, in this case committing such an unkind act is natural to human mind for precisely that reason. 

 My introduction to Rituparno's work was through *Hirer Angti* at the age at which anything else would have felt more like a punishment than entertainment. Well, not quiet the work he is otherwise famous for, pleasant effects of such honest story telling left me with a strangely familiar feeling which *Joy Baba Felunath* left me with not too long ago from then. I hope you are catching my drift here.



A few years later, after a lot of reluctance I rented a DVD and watched ‘Unishe April’. It came as a revelation that as a self-professed Satyajit Ray follower Rituparno Ghosh was exactly what I needed to fill up the void created by the demise of the legend. The truth and simplicity, with which a matter of utmost complexity that is women psyche was portrayed, could sway the opinion of even the harshest critics in only one way. Rituparno followed it up with ‘Chokher Bali’ among many others like ‘Dahan’ and ‘Titli’ to name a few. However crude some of the frames were in those masterpieces, those same frames juxtaposed with the crisp detailing and honest to god portrayal of the pain and suffering of women helped the essential threads of those stories weave delicately to produce an everlasting fabric of impression in the minds of the viewers. One shouldn’t be surprised to find out that if any of the modern Bengali directors could do justice to Tagore women protagonists that would be none other than Rituparno Ghosh.


Rituparno's masterpieces hardly deviated from the central theme of pain, suffering, the eternal fight between the brain and the heart, the finer debatable details of ethics of relationships, but what is life if we can’t agree to disagree on some finer details, what is happiness if there is no suffering and more importantly, what is life if we can dream an utopian dream and can’t agree on the impossibility of such a dream? Rituparno's sincere portrayal of life does justice to its darker side and that’s exactly what makes him immortal in the pages of humanity. The void created by his untimely demise, however farfetched, statistically speaking will be filled, but there will always be only one honest of an artist Rituparno Ghosh. May his soul rest in peace!




#1 Nanda Banerjee 2013-09-10 06:22
very nicely portrait in writing.

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