Soumitra Chatterjee is a man who redefined the concept of a hero in Bengali cinema.
His extraordinary talent and expressive eyes was enough to aesthetically portray a scene without dialogues. Satyajit Ray’s Apur Sansar was the turning point of his life, after which there was no looking back for Soumitra Chatterjee.
As an actor, he is well known for his versatility and honesty which is evident through the characters that he has played earlier. Be it the ambitious Apu in Apur Sansar or the character of a nationalist leader Sandip in Ghare Baire or his role as Feluda in Sonar Kella, he is a man with many golden feathers to his hat. To celebrate his 81st Birthday, R.A.I.D. (group of companies) screened Satyajit Ray’s Apu in the national capital on Sunday. It is a 60-minute documentary based on Chatterjee’s life, inspiration and his overall journey, directed by Ipshita Gon Gupta.
The documentary showed the actor narrating the journey of his life from a small town to the silver screen. He repeatedly mentioned how Ray’s movies helped him to grow as an actor. He also mentioned that he could relate to the character of Apu, a small town guy who comes to Kolkata to fulfill his dreams. Ipshita, director of the documentary said: “Satyajit Ray and Soumitra Chatterjee both complement each other. I feel that without one, the other is incomplete.”
When asked about the documentary, she further added: “I have been doing it (documentary) for quite some time, in bits and pieces. It took about six or seven years to complete it. Firstly it was time consuming and then I also had to deal with my finances. Also, it was necessary to coordinate with the timings of Soumitra kaku but the kind of co-operation I got from him, was awesome. “
The documentary was followed by a play- Apu Trilogy, the adapted version of Ray’s Apu Trilogy. The two hour play, which was staged under the guidance of Happy Ranajit Sahoo, was beautifully portrayed.
The scene which showed Apu and Durga running on the stage as Apu wishes to see a train and her elder sister, Durga takes him long with her, was interesting.