Enigma of Soumitra Chatterjee

Paying tribute

Soumitra Chatterjee is a name to be reckoned within Indian cinema. As an actor, he has incredible onscreen presence and a powerful aura that has inspired many. Redefining Artistic Innovative Designs (RAID) recently paid tribute to the legendary Bengali actor by organising a screening of the documentary Ray’s Apu and a Hindi play based on Satayajit Ray’s Apu Triology.

Titled ‘A Tribute to Soumitra Chatterjee’, the event marked the first ever tribute to Chatterjee on his 81st birthday.

The actor is best known for his collaborations with film director Satyajit Ray. He
was part of 15 out of 35 films as a lead actor and is best known for his role , Apu in Apur Sansar.

The event presented the enigma of Chatterjee on national level through the Ipshita Gon Gupta directed documentary Ray’s Apu and Apu Trilogy, a play directed by Gupta, Happy Ranjit Sahoo and Rachaittri Gupta.

 The hour-long documentary showcased the life journey of Chatterjee. It included all the aspects of his life, his fondness towards Ray, his ups and downs and his passion for
poetry. The documentary was narrated by Chatterjee himself.

“India is still in its adolescence as far as documenting life and achievements of eminent personalities. Soumitra Chatterjee caught my imagination since the time I saw him in Sonar Kella as a child and later when I received an autographed photograph from him. I am an art lover and not so-called “filmmaker”, therefore Ray’s Apu is a tribute from an admirer to Soumitra Chatterjee, the prodigy of Satyajit Ray,” said Ipshita.

The documentary was followed by Apu Trilogy, which is an adaptation from Ray’s most celebrated Apu Trilogy.

“It was a challenge for me to turn the prodigious work of Satyajit Ray into a play,”
said Ranjit.

The director tried to maintain the essence of the film with his own viewpoint, understanding and imagination.

“Film and theatre are two different mediums of expression and are incomparable. Even though we are perpetually in awe of everything about the film, we must move on and try something new. I believe change is constant,” he added.

 

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