(1963 – 2013)
Screening of two films
(Bengali with English subtitles)
18th August 2013, Sunday; 3.30pm to 8.30 pm
Convension Hall, PSG Institue of Management, Peelamedu
All are Welome; Admission Free
Aruvi & Konangal Film Society
August 31, 1963 - 30 May 2013
Ad and feature film maker, actor and director Rituparno Ghosh pushed the boundaries of Indian film-making, exploring personal relationships and issues of identity in a series of award winning films in Bengali, Hindi and English. From Unishe April in 1995 to the semi-biographical Chitrangada in 2013, he leaves behind a connoisseur’s collection.
A meticulous screenwriter-director whose films blended the classical literary traditions of his native Bengal with a new-age sensibility and craft that transcended the confines of region, Rituparno Ghosh was one of the most provocative voices of contemporary Indian cinema.
In a tragically brief but hugely eventful career, Ghosh made light of many divides through the means of his immaculately crafted films and on the strength of his own unique identity: art and commerce, regional and national, heterosexual and gay.
He was a rare Kolkata-based Bengali filmmaker who found ready acceptance among the biggest stars of mainstream Mumbai cinema. More importantly, Ghosh was peerlessly gutsy in the manner in which he addressed issues of alternative sexuality in a series of three films made within a year of each other — Kaushik Ganguly’s Just Another Love Story (2011), Sanjoy Nag’s Memories in March (2011) and Chitrangada — The Crowning Wish (2012).
Rituparno was candid in openly challenging established social norms. Director Gautam Ghosh remarks," Rituparno stands out as one who stood for what he believed in. This is what I really appreciate in him … the confidence he had in his own point of view no matter what; a quiet but firmly independent spirit that found reflection in his various interactions, not to speak of his films.”
In less than two decades, Ghosh made nearly 20 films, the last being the incomplete Satyanweshi (Seeker of Truth), his take on an adventure of the fictional sleuth Byomkesh Bakshi that he finished shooting days before his death.
Born on August 31, 1963, Ghosh studied economics at Kolkata’s Jadavpur University. He learnt the ropes from his documentary filmmaker-father, Sunil Ghosh, before branching out on his own in the world of advertising. Ghosh’s directorial debut was the nondescript children’s film Hirer Angti (The Diamond Ring), made in the early 1990s but released only in 1994. It was with the Bergmanesque Unishe April (April 19) that he burst on the scene.
Ghosh left a deep imprint with everything he did as a man and a filmmaker. There has never been, and is unlikely to be, anyone quite like him in Indian cinema. Within the short period of time he was among us, he has inspired us to think independently, express our views without fear and to hold an intense emotional-spiritual bond with everyone around us. May his soul rest in peace.
(Excerpts from tribute article by Arun Chatopadhyay)
Rituparna Ghosh truly arrived on the national scene with Unishe April. it won Best Film and Best Actress (Debashree Roy) at the 1994 National Awards.
Sarojini, a dancer utterly devoted to her craft, keeps her daughter Aditi at arm’s length. Aditi, having lost her father to a heart attack and her mother to dance, is the bhadralok version of a rebellious teen: she is studying to be a doctor, and gets on her mother’s nerves by being excessively polite. Early on in Unishe April, Sarojini learns that she’s been selected for a prestigious award, resulting in her making immediate travel plans. This triggers off Aditi’s long-repressed feelings of abandonment, and when her mother unexpectedly returns that night, the resentment spills over.
Ghosh displays great assuredness for someone at the start of his filmmaking career. He patiently layers long, dialogue-heavy scenes one onto another, until the cumulative effect starts to show its power. At times one wishes that the visual flourishes – like the beautiful first shot where the camera pans away from the dancers, or the silhouette of Aditi lit by a single candle - were more frequent. The performances, however, keep one from straying. Roy gives Aditi a complexity often missing in such roles – her change in demeanour from the time she demands that her boyfriend call her long-distance to her break-down when he does, underlines the illusory nature of control. And Aparna Sen goes from affected to affecting as her character’s past is illuminated. Films made in this country often have teary endings, but few earn them the way this one does..
( review fromhttp://fanapart.blogspot.in)
2009/Col/ 118 Min
ABOHOMAAN means “Like Weather” – something that’s Eternal and yet never Constant. Like weather that’s interspersed by streaks of sunlight and sudden bursts of rain, life is never a uniform journey of either happiness or grief. Ritu Da presented the same ephemeral quality of life through the non-linear reels of his film that traces the life of an ageing filmmaker and the repercussions of his ‘scandalous’ affair with a young actress, on his life and his family.
The point to be noted here is that though the word ‘scandal’ has been used many a time during the course of the film, there is nothing really blasphemous about the relation. In fact, what could have been another film about infidelity from Ritu Da’s armoury turns out to be a subtle tale of an artist and his muse – reflecting on the fact that our society is often myopic enough to misconstrue this relation to being an amorous one.
The story seamlessly links three layers of incidents: the aftermath of Aniket Mazumder’s death, his earlier days with his family and the straining relation between him and his wife Dipti & son Apratim, and his pioneering film “Noti Binodini” that starred debut actress Shikha, escalating her career to fame and nurturing rumours of Aniket’s affair with Shikha.
Abohomaan remains one of his more “original” works – where he could wield his creativity to the full extent and come out with flying colours. When you make films about relationships repeatedly, it gets very difficult to ensure that you don’t get repetitive. And here’s a man presenting an absolutely fresh perspective about inter-character duels – a view so fresh and so appealing that you wonder why people don’t think so much about relationships as he does!
(Review by Souvik Gupta )