Remembering filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh on his 4th death anniversary.

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Remembering filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh on his 4th death anniversary.

Rituparno Ghosh (31 August 1963–30 May 2013) was a film director, actor, writer and lyricist in the Bengali cinema. After pursuing a degree in economics he started his career as a creative artist at an advertising 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-professed Satyajit Ray fan and inspired other filmmakers like Mithaq Kazimi who adapted Ghosh’s film Raincoat in English. In his career spanning almost two decades, he won 12 National and many International awards. Ghosh died on 30 May 2013 in Kolkata after a heart attack.

His unreleased Bengali movie named Taak Jhaank was honoured and released at the 19th Kolkata International Film Festiva.

Rituparno Ghosh was one of the most acclaimed film directors of India, and was himself an admirer of Satyajit Ray. His films glorified womanhood and closely and sensitively portrayed women’s lives, feelings and sufferings. According to Bollywood actor Anupam Kher, Ghosh had wonderful understanding of the female psyche. In his last films he addressed issues of homosexuality and gender

An article in the newspaper Live Mint categorised Ghosh’s cinematic career in three phases: In his early films, he tried to portray Bengali middle-class lives, their aspirations and desires; in the second phase, he mainly worked with Bollywood actors and made films in Hindi and English as well as Bengali; in the third and the last phase his movies mainly dealt with sexuality.

Rituparno Ghosh had deep interests in the classics and made multiple films of Rabindranath Tagore’s works. According to film-maker Goutam Ghose.

Rituparno Ghosh was a researcher and admirer of
His films, with their sensitive portrayal of human relationships, anguish, trauma and love in a fast-changing, post-liberalisation 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 refreshing, yet realistic in a society that was going through churning.

Goutam Ghose also felt that Rituparno Ghosh was the best film director of his generation. He directed and as well as acted in such films which tried to reject the concept that homosexual relationship is all about a physical relationship. He said in an interview in 2010 — “There is much more to such relationships. Same-sex relationships, too, are extremely soulful, emotional and have the same pathos that any heterosexual relationship has.”

Bengali film director Mrinal Sen said that whenever he thought of direction, the name that came to mind was Rituparno Ghosh. According to Sen, Ghosh’s contribution to Indian cinema will be remembered forever. The independent film critic Saibal Chatterjee, in an article in The Hindu, described the way Ghosh mixed the literary traditions of Bengal with modern-day sensibility, thereby transcending the confines of region. Chatterjee praised Ghosh for his brave and empathetic treatment of “alternative sexuality” as actor in Arekti Premer Golpo and Memories in March, and as director-actor in Chitrangada.

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