While surfing through the list of movies from a friend’s hard disk I came across a folder that was named ‘Memories of March’. The name was interesting enough for me to copy the folder. Being the avid watcher of films that I’m, I watched it that very night. Memories of March is a story of a mother who finds out about a secret side of her son’s life, after his death. It’s a poignant tale about accepting someone as they are. It was amazing how emotions were conveyed to the viewer without any words or expressions. After watching almost 7 movies by this writer, I realized that ‘Memories of March’ was just another Rituparno Ghosh movie.
Bald head, kohl around his eyes and unusual dressing sense; on searching more about Rituparna Ghosh I realized that this man looked as unique as his films are. He had creativity in his films, in the way he wrote them, his whims and everything around him. He was a brilliant storyteller. Ghosh’s father was a filmmaker himself. Ghosh learnt about the rush-cut, sound-sync and final shot on the dining table at his house when was 14. But unlike his father, Ghosh didn’t want to make documentaries. He wanted to write stories and screenplays.
Most of Ghosh’s movies are in Bengali. And it’s hard to get subtitled versions of some of his best works online. Buy a DVD instead. Many senior actors reinvented themselves with Ghosh’s vision. Ask Prosenjit Chatterjee, Rituparna Sengupta, Jishu Sengupta or even Sujoy Ghosh and they all will agree on how well this man made the characters speak volumes without narrating a dialogue.
Calcutta has been an integral part of his upbringing as a filmmaker and as a person. Rituparna belonged to Ray school. He learnt a lot from the films by Satyajit Ray. In fact, he has mentioned in many interviews that Ray’s films inspired him to become a film-maker. He earlier worked as a copywriter at Responsive Advertising, Kolkatta. After working there for a few years, he made his debut film called ‘Hirar Angti’ in 1944. However, he got acknowledged for his work in ‘Unishe April’. He received a National Award for the Best Feature Film for the same.
Ghosh, marked the beginning of the renaissance in Bengali cinema. He always fought against the insensitivity of the society and struggled to educate and change the perspective of people. From the subjects he chose to the way he carried himself, he was always a rebel, breaking every stereotype and norms that society had created.
I’m browsing through the hard disk again. And this time too, I hope to find an interesting name followed by an interesting story.
May 25, 2016
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