Meghe Dhaka Tara: Just a view

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“You left audacity left, politeness made a new beginning”

The man died long back. They were lots of debates about him, his point of view, his films and his alcoholism. He is considered as a cinematic genius and a reckless human being at the same time. Discussion of his films in intellectual society was mandatory and the same people rebuked him when he succumbed to death due to excessive consumption of country liquor.

Yes Ritwik Ghatak he is, The “ Meghe Dhaka Tara” man.

And he had a much discussed reincarnation in his biopic by Kamaleshwar Mukherjee

Initially I was skeptical about it, I saw a lot friends turning the film down. Their acquisitions varied from an empty movie theatre to a ‘difficult to understand movie’.

But a friend and a crew member of the movie insisted on watching the film, and after few minutes I realized this is for the very 1st time I am seeing non-linear portrayal of a movie in a Bengali film. Impressed indeed. The film is just not a biopic of an ace doctor, it’s a story about dreams(entirely shot in monochrome).A man in the rehab, cannot survive a single day without alcohol and local cigarettes, someone who boasts about reading “How To become A Good Communist” even before his elementary education. A man who sacrifices every single penny he earned for his passion, his cinema and public theatre. Though being treated with shock therapy he manages to produce a play with his inmates in the mental hospital. It’s all about him, his vision, his thoughts, his poetry, The Naxalite period and the city Of Kolkata He was hardly acclaimed (except the Padmashree), many of his films were released much later, even fewer were commercially successful yet he is one of the ‘Golden Director Trio’ along with Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen. Though Satyajit Ray is considered as the leading man of new age Bengali Cinema, people say Ritwik Ghatak would have been considered the same if his works released at time.

And before you consider mine as a useless film review I must say as the title suggests, it’s just a view on the great director and a simple human being. Success rarely kissed his feet yet he was very strong in his ideology and principles, he never bowed down, he never compromised, all he could do is pursue his dreams. After all dreams are all we have.

(The quote is translated from a Shakti Chattopadhyay poem on Ritwik Ghatak)

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