Remembering Rituparno Ghosh..
Rituparno Ghosh (31 August 1963 – 30 May 2013) was Bangla film director. After pursuing a degree in economics he started his career as a creative artist in advertisement agency. In 1992, his debut film Hirer Angti released. In 1994 his next film Unishe April released which won National Film Award for Best Feature Film.
Ghosh was a self-confessed Satyajit Ray fan. In his career spanning almost two decades he won 12 national and some international awards.Ghosh died on 30 May 2013 in Kolkata after suffering a massive heart attack...
An article in the newspaper ''Live Mint'' categorised the cinematic career of Ghosh into three phases: in his early films, he tried to portray Bengali middle-class lives, their aspirations and desires; in the second phase of his career he mainly worked with Bollywood actors and made films in Bengali as well as Hindi and English; in the third and the last phase of his career he mainly dealt with sexuality in his movies.
Rituparno Ghos was a researcher and admirer of Rabindranath Tagore. He made three films directly based on literary works of Rabindranath Tagore— Choker Bali (2003),Nokuadubi (2010) and Chitrangada (2012). In the film Asukh (1999) Tagore played an invisible role. In 2012, Ghosh made a documentary based on Tagore's autobiography Jiban Smriti.
In an interview in August 2012, Ghosh told about Tagore— "What comes through is what a lonely man Tagore was — from childhood to old age. There is no one in his life to share even his success with him. It's the journey of a lonely traveller. What I haven't captured in the documentary is what a fun-loving, humorous man he could be. I show him as a profound thinker, a guru — but then this was perhaps necessary for an audience which is not at all familiar with Rabindranath."[
Rituparno Ghosh had deep interests in classics and made multiple films of Rabindranath Tagore's works. According to film-maker Gautam Ghosh His films, with their sensitive portrayal of human relationships, anguish, trauma and love in a fast-changing, post-liberalization India charmed audiences. His brilliant story-telling reflected contemporary society like never before. While his death creates a tremendous void that can never be filled, Rituparno's work blazed a trail that has paved the way for an entire generation of filmmakers who have dared to be different. It was Rituparno who gave them the courage.
He looked at ordinary middle-class relationships from an angle that had never been explored. For example, the mother-daughter relationship in 'Unishe April' was so refreshing, yet realistic in a society that was going through a churning.
Bengali film director Mrinal Sen told whenever he thought "direction", a name that used to come to his mind was "Rituparno ghosh". According to Sen the contribution of Ghosh to Indian cinema will be remembered forever.
Before his career in film, Rituparno Ghosh became known as an advertisement copyrighter in Kolkata. He was particularly noted for making succinct yet appealing one-liners and slogans for ad campaigns in Bengali language in 1980s. At that time, the usual trend in Kolkata was to translate English and Hindi all-India advertisement campaigns to Bengali. Ghosh got recognition for his capacity to initiate campaigns in Bengali. Some of his noted ad campaigns included Sharad Samman, Borolene. Some commentators noted that his power to appeal consumers (through ad campaign) helped him to make his films appealing to the audience, particularly middle class Bengali
In 1994 his second film Unishe April released. The film depicted relationship between a mother and a daughter. This film got critical and commercial success and won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in 1995. After that he directed Dahan which released in 1997. Ghosh won National Film Award for Best Screenplay and Rituparna Sengupta and Indrani Halder shared the National Film Award for Best Actress in 1998 for this film. Dahan was based on a true incident of a woman getting molested on a street of Kolkata; another woman, who happened to see the incident, came forward to set in motion legal action against the perpetrators, but became frustrated by the callousness of the society, including the kins of the victim of the molestation.
Bariwali, released in 2000, portrayed a lonely withdrawn widow (Kirron Kher) who rents her house for a film production, and fantasises about the charming director, letting go her long-suppressed desires. Kher won National Film Award for Best Actress. In the 1999 film Asukh Ghosh dealt with the relationship between a film star girl and her father who had to unwillingly depend on his daughter's earnings. The film won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali.
Ghosh won the National Award for Best Direction for Utsab, released in 2000. The film dealt with the decadence of a large family whose members are now away from the ancestral house, and meet only during the traditional Durga puja held in the premises of their house. The 2002 film Titli was a narrative of mother-daughter relationship—the teenage daughter has a crush for an older film star who, years ago, had an affair with the mother.
The 2003 film Shubho Mahurat, a whodunit based on Agatha Christie's The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side, starred the veteran actresses Rakhee and Sharmila Tagore, alongside Nandita Das, in major roles. The same year, Ghosh's film Chokher Balireleased. The film was based on a novel written by Rabindranath Tagore. In this film Ghosh first worked with Bollywood actressAishwarya Rai.
In 2004 Ghosh's first Hindi film Raincoat released. This film was an adaptation of the short story The Gift of the Magi (1906) by O. Henry. In this film he again worked with Aishwarya Rai. The shooting of the film completed in 17 days.[ This film received National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali award.[
In 2005 the Bengali film Antar Mahal released. The film was set in British India and revolved around a zaminder family. Jackie Shroff played the role of the zaminder.Soha Ali Khan and Roopa Ganguly played the zaminder's wives' roles.
The 2007 film The Last Lear revolved around the life of a retired Shakespearean theatre actor. In this film Amitabh Bachchan played the lead role. Preity Zinta and Arjun Rampal also acted in this film.
In the 2008 film Khela, Ghosh dealt with human relationship. This was Manisha Koirala's debut film in Bengali cinema. The same year, Shob Charitro Kalponik starring Bipasha Basu and Prosenjit released, and won the National Award for Best Film in Bengali.
In 2009 Ghosh's film Abohoman starring Jishu Sengupta, Ananya Chatterjee, Dipankar Dey, Mamata Shankar released. He won the National film award for Best Director for his Bengali for this film.
Before death, he finished the production work of his upcoming film Satyanweshi, a film based on Bengali detective Byomkesh Bakshi.
He made his first screen presence in an Oriya film Katha Deithilli Ma Ku which was directed by Himanshu Parija and released in 2003.] In 2011 he acted in two Bengali films— Arekti Premer Golpo directed by Kaushik Ganguly and Memories in Marchdirected by Sanjoy Nag. Arekti Premer Golpo dealt with homosexual relationship.
Chitrangada (2012) was Ghosh's last released film. The film was loosely based on Rabindranath Tagore's work Chitrangada.[ This film recieved the special jury award at the 60th National Film Awards.[
Ghosh hosted two celebrity chat shows, namely Ebong Rituporno on ETV Bangla and Ghosh and co. on Star Jalsha. He also was the scriptwriter of Gaaner Opare. An episode of Ghosh & co in which he interviewed Mir Afsar Ali had led to some controversy.
Ghosh was suffering from diabetes for ten years, and pancreatic diseases for five years. He was a patient of insomina too and had been taking pills. According to doctors' reports, he was facing physical complexities by a hormone replacement therapy that he required after an abdominoplasty and breast implants he got before the making of Arekti Premer Golpo, in which he played the role of a homosexual film-maker.
Ghosh died following a massive heart attack at his Kolkata residence on 30 May 2013. His attendants, Dileep and Bishnu, found him lying unconscious in bed. Nilanjana Sengupta, a neighbour of Ghosh, called Doctor Nirup Ray, who declared Ghosh dead. Ghosh was 49 years old..