The great Bengali director Rituparno Ghosh who recently sadly died due to a cardiac arrest.

The great Bengali director Rituparno Ghosh who recently sadly died due to a cardiac arrest.

On the 30th May 2013 Indian cinema unfortunately lost one of its finest filmmakers of this generation the Bengali maestro Rituparno Ghosh due to a cardiac arrest. The sad demise of this sensitive director has certainly brought to an end a great era in Bengali and Indian cinema. What made this director so special was the fact that he made movies on sensitive issues and handle those issues with the dignity it required.

To say that watching Rituparno’s movies is like poetry in motion would just be an understatement because I sincerely believe that it is more than just poetry. Watching his movies is like being seduced into the beautiful world of unadulterated pure cinema. Although, I admit that I have not seen many of his movies but one movie that I have watched and, still continues to be etched quite clearly in my memory is the Hindi movie Raincoat. So fresh in my mind are the sweet memories of this movie that I can still recollect the wonderful conversations between the two protagonists played brilliantly by Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgan. The most beautiful aspect of this movie I believe is the story which is not only sensitive but manages to touch your heart very deeply. The story which is actually based on O Henry’s short story called “The Gift of the Magi” basically deals with two estranged lovers separated by destiny years earlier who meet again one rainy afternoon. What makes this movie very special is the way Rituparno has managed to tell a story and capture its essence with so much of simplicity and realism devoid of unnecessary glamour which is very rare especially in the Hindi movie industry.

What is also interesting about this movie is the way Rituparno has woven a story around destiny and shows us how cruel it can be  at times. Apart from great direction and story he also manages to extract great performances from his cast be it brilliant performances from Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgan or a magnificent performance from the great Annu Kapoor. Also, the use of a raincoat as a character in itself is certainly an ingenious idea and credit must go to Rituparno for that. With some great Indian classical music by Debojyoti Mishra as the background it only adds to the charm of the movie with the Shubha Mudgal rendered “Mathura Nagar Pati” being a song of highest quality. All in all I believe that while I was watching Raincoat for the first time I could not help but get sucked into the world of Neeru and Manu (names of characters played protagonists) and, that for me is the true magic of Rituparno’s cinema.

What also is quite noticeable about his cinema is the kind of stories that he has always tried to tell which has definitely not been according to conventional standards of a conservative Indian society which only proves to us how strength of conviction in a story can only lead to great cinema and not compromises made in the name of making pots of money. So be it a sensitive story about a widow’s repressed fantasies in Bariwali, the mature Choker Bali which deals which sensitive issues like infidelity, or as in Raincoat which deals with how destiny brings former lovers back together on one rainy afternoon he certainly has had the courage to make movies he truly believed in and take cinema to another level. He also acted in a few Bengali movies such as Akerti Premer Golpo directed by Kaushik Ganguly which yet again dealt with sensitive issues like homosexuality and, proving once again that conviction in one’s choices is all that should matter if the intention is to make great cinema. It is not surprising then that Rituparno has ended up with 12 national and few international awards. What is also not surprising is that he is a big Satyajit Ray fan which is why Satyajit Ray’s influence can be seen quite clearly in the style of his storytelling.

So with the sudden death of the master director from Bengal it has certainly brought to an end a glorious chapter in Bengali as well as Indian cinema in general. His value as a filmmaker in Indian cinema is clearly evident when a great actress like Konkana Sen Sharma who acted in his movies such as Dosar and Titli said that “It was a great personal loss for her”. So it is with great sadness I say good bye to this genius from Bengal and, hopefully his work will live on and act as a reminder as to what truly great cinema really means.

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On the 30th May 2013 Indian cinema unfortunately lost one of its finest filmmakers of this generation the Bengali maestro Rituparno Ghosh due to a cardiac arrest. The sad demise of this sensitive director has certainly brought to an end a great era in Bengali and Indian cinema. What...