Now, a film based on Tagore's classic

Iconic tale

To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, the Ministry of Culture organised the first commercial release and screening of the Bangla film, Shesher Kobita or The Last Poem at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts recently.

Starring Rahul Bose and Konkona Sen Sharma in the lead roles, the film was released by Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma. Though a late entry of the Minister saw some of the audience fuming, the screening of the film started soon after the inauguration.

“The Ministry of Culture had in 2012 during Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations, promised to make this film and this has been fulfilled by us now. This is our tribute to the great poet and writer,” Sharma said.

Directed by Suman Mukhopadhyay, the film based on Tagore’s landmark novel in Bengali literature by the same name, showcases an iconic love story. It’s been said that Tagore wrote the 1928 classic in Bangalore. A story set in the pre-Independence times, in the locales of Shillong, it captures the different worlds of the lead pair and their lives and their varied ideas about love. After building up their affair with fervent passion, the lovers decide to marry other suitors, without the air of tragedy. It appears that the mundane chores of life will take over their lives and nullify the essence of their romance. Amit Ray (Bose) marries Ketaki (Swastika Mukherjee), his girlfriend from Oxford, Labanya (Sharma) marries Sovanlal (Debdut Ghosh), her friend from university days.

What makes it all particularly poignant, from start to finish, is the beautiful poetry woven throughout the movie - from the last poem that Amit picks from Tagore for his final letter to Labanya to the works of Donne and Matthew Arnold.

The film was premiered at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2013 and was screened in festivals in New York and Singapore in 2014. Jointly produced by National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) and the Ministry of Culture, the film also saw a simultaneous release in Kolkata by the director and is soon set to hit
theatres across India.

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