Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Soumitra Chattopadhyay

I am not writing this blog now as because he was recently announced to get awarded with Dadasaheb Phalke,i simply don't care for this , i wanted to write about this great actor long long ago, just too lethargic to take the intitiative, may be this award finally primed me to write it down.Traditional words would be absolutely cliche to describe about him, i would rather prefer to write about the roles which i've liked most so far and not liked so far. The first movie that i liked of mr. Soumitra chattopadhyay was his role of  an undaunted yet little unconventinal swimming trainer " Khitishda  aka KHIDDAin Kony", this Moti Nandi story is a masterpiece like his other sports fictions and soumitra played it in a majestic way. Then when i was in class VIII i saw 2 feluda movies, in " sonar kella" he was the feluda that came out right from the novel, the best any feluda fan could imagine, but lost the sharpness in face and movement in " Joi baba Felunath" as the 2nd one Ray made in a gap of 10 years.Then i saw " Hirok rajar deshe" and i didn't like it as well as it seemed to me he was not well suited as the "Udayan pandit" character. I liked him in his first movie "Apur Songsar" as to me he was the perfect apu at that age, especially his expression of painful smile when he went to attend the wedding with his friend pulu to his mamarbari in khulna-bangladesh,after touching the feat the old lady mamima blessed him " asirbad kori dirghojibi hou baba" then the expression in apu's face tells a lot, it reminds him of his own mother and sister whom he lost in life, this kind of acting is very very rare to perform no matter how big shot ur director is, it's either in you or don't, you can't learn it in any drama school.Then in "Teen bhubaner Paare" he played the role of  " Montu Mittir" who fall in love with neighbor girl tanuja, the transition of Montu mittir from a parar vagabond rockbaj chokra to calm composed Professor Mitra was outstanding. Among Satyajit ray movies i liked him most in 2, one in Abhijan as the driver Narasingha ji in where he gave his best performance an actor can provide when Wahida rehman is your actress and as a mentally invalid brother " Prosanto in " Sakha Prosakha", ray used classic western music  profoundly and those perfectly matched with the situation in Prosanto's room along with the flow of the movie. He did quite a good job as" Amulya" in Teen kanya especially in the scene where he goes to santosh dutta's home to choose his bride. he looked amazingly handsome in " Aranyer Dinratri" as sekhar but this is not a very well criticized movie as the novel by sunil ganguly was much joy to read. I liked him most when he acted pairing with Aparna sen, like in Mrinal sen's " Akash kusum" he played the role of an ambitious young lad who uses lies and deceit to achieve everything which he can't with his normal talent and the role of the psycologist " Pratul Mukherjee" in " Baksho-badal" was one of my favorite as well, but in both of these movies aparna sen outclassed everyone.Director Ajay kar was famous as who can always get the best out of all the people of his set, that is why he is so renowned for movies like saptapadi, Harano sur; all Uttam-suchitra classics. But he got the best out of Soumitra in " Saat pake Bandha" with an amazing performance by Suchitra sen as well.This was a very tuff role to perform especially opposite suchitra sen as a little under or over acting will be severely scrutinized by all movie experts, but Mr. chatterjee not only passed but passed with distinction in our heart.I also liked him in movie old" Parineeta" in the role of sekhar, but this movie was to remember for sweet young Mousumi chatterjee's unbelievable performance, (Vidya balan came very close). Then when i watch 2 Tapan sinha's film i bowed down to Mr. chatterjee for the rest of my time, as an idealistic math teacher who saw his own student to commit a murder in movie " Atanka" in which his facial expression was the thing to remember when evertime his student, the murderer Sumantro threat him as " mastermosai apni kintu kichu dakhen ni", the 2nd one in movie ANTARDHAN;was based on a true story in which a helpless father seeking to solve the mystery of the disappearence of his daughter and begging for help in  a part of our rotten corrupted society which was mercyless to him. Versatile direcgtor Mr. Goutan Ghosh used his talent in the movie  DEKHA in  as  a Blind complex retired professor whose problematic life ruined his family and yet he is living it with his own vanity. i watched this movie several times and got fascinated as how meticulous an actor could be in order to portray the role of a blind person.I know i'm missing lots and lots of his memorable roles,but my readers will fill in the blanks for sure. well there's more but that's it for the movie part now. Now I think Mr. chatterjee is even better in stage than the celluloid version, i saw him first in the theatre " Nilkantha" with aparna sen and then in " Tiktiki" by sapnosandhani group theatre production.he played the rold of an affluent jamindar who plays cat and mouse game with a police inspector kaushik sen. To be honest in this natok kaushik sen was better than Mr. chatterjee in acting prowess, but i'm not criticizing, just merely depicting what i felt on that day in the hall of Girish mancha. I then saw several other group theatres in academy, rabindra sadan with my natok pagol friends and i liked most of them. Now my favorite role  that he performed, one and only " Mayurbahon" in " Jhinder Bandi" another masterpiece by saradindu and so well depicted by the great tapan singha. As a villain he outscored Uttam kumar in this role, can you imagine how tuff is that to get the job done. Now whenever he got compared with Uttam kumar i  never participated in this torko as to me they all stand firm in their own merits and in their respective school of acting. I simply place him in my highest level of regards as an actor. I wanted to meet him someday, but it never worked out, then finally it was a day when i encountered with my hero which i will tell briefly to my readers along with a nice pic which is so precious to me and piu for the rest of our life.

It was Jan19 of 2007, me and piu went for a 1month vacation in India, we celebrated my baba-ma's  marriage anniversary at Mainland China then went to Rabindra sadan to celebrate Soumitra Chattopadhyay's 72nd birthday with other thousand of fans. He was doing this 2 consecutive short stage theatre for this event named "Tiyattore Soumittir" coorganized by Academy of fine arts and West bengal Govt jointly.God knows, how my friend priyangku managed 3 tickets for this event as all tickets sold out a month before .we were mesmerized by the stage performance capability at this age in the natok" Homapakhi" and then "Mantromugdha" , among the audience there was sandip roy, Bibhas chakraborty, sabyasachi chakrabarty, Aparna sen and numerous others.It was almost 9 pm in the evening and we had to rush back to home, but decided to give it a desperate shot to meet this great actor at least for once in life and here piu did her amazingly bold role to escort us to the green room directly without hesitating the guards and other people. Then next 10 minutes seems still like a fantasy tale or a dream to us.The man was infront of us, in dhuti-panjabi and chador the man has the elegance at the highest level one can imagine,that 6 feet tall yet straight physique, that famous charminar in hand and that heavenly smile. We touched his feet, wished him for good health on his birthday and got a chance to talk for few minutes. I asked only one question: if he has any plan to come to USA for a performance soon? he smiled and replied " ichhe to acche , kintu koi keo to dakeni ei bochor ekhono". Piu exchanged few words for his acting and birthday wish and then we left. he looked enormously tired after 2 stage play without any break and still he spend few minutes  and  even agreed to take a pic with us. when we came out of the hall we were so delighted that couldn't talk for  long time. pray to god he live longer and reward us with some more of his classy actings.

8 comments:

  1. Like you and other thousands of Soumitra-fans,I am just amazed by his versatile acting capacity and wide range of roles he played in his entire cinema life.I am a die-hard admirer of Soumitra Chattapadhyaya whose subtle way of expressing the inner turmoils of a chatacter always touched my heart and mind.He is an acting prodigy.I love his recitations also and Kinu goyalar goli is one of them.Thanks Ayan for writing few paragraphs on this gifted actor of the Indian cinema and help us recapitulating his mind blowing roles in those unforgotten movies of Bengali Cinema.

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    1. thanks Lipi for reading n commenting...yes proud to be a bengali for another reason among million others....sudhu ektai dukkho Manikbabu kano aro feluda korenni....asole r kaoke Jatayu vaba jai na bolei hoito......Soumitra chatterjee could have excelled in hindi movies for sure, but he never accepted even after numerous offers...

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  2. I would like to add two more:
    1. Charulata
    2. BasantaBilap
    Echara Kapurush, Stree, agradani etc. koto darun cinema korechen..

    Apart from his acting I am a big fan of his recitation(abritti)

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    1. thik bolechis, bisesh kore AGRADANI te onar acting,....just too much...

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  3. excellent writing.....thoroughly enjoyed it.....
    one movie jeta amar onar bhalo laage is "Chhutir Faade".....Utpal Dutta r Aparna Sen er durdanto obinoy chhilo along with Soumitro.............one of my favourite hilarious movies...............

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    1. hyan ebare mone porlo...darun movie ota....

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  4. Ami Chutir Fayda dekhini..thank you for mentioning it. Aebar khuje dekhbo. Am a huge fan of Soumitra, Aparna, Utpal -- such talented people. Recently watched Soumitra sing -- oh I loved it. Take a look here -- it’s a jingle!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeJFfJ9EvvY

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