Archive for the ‘Gautam Ghose’ Category

PAAR is a tale of arduous struggle for survival. It narrates the story of a harijan couple (Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi) who flee from their native village in Bihar to escape from the wrath of the upper caste tyrannical landlord (Utpal Dutt) & his men. The landlord’s brother (Mohan Agashe) was killed to avenge the death of the Gandhian school teacher (played by Anil Chaterjee) who worked tirelessly for upliftment of the oppressed villagers.
The initial part of the film, especially the character of the school teacher, invokes the spirit of the Gandhi-Ambedkarite struggle of dalit upliftment. The second half of the film portrays the hardship the couple faces in the city of Kolkata romantically bestowed with an epithet – The City of Joy. The couple finds no such joy in the city but an odd job to drive a herd of pigs across a river with a lure for earning money to finance their travel back home.
Exquisitely filmed, backed by terrific performances, this is one of the greatest films ever in Indian cinema. Om puri does a cameo as a village sarpanch.
Rating; 4.5 out of 5


BISARJAN is a heart-warming film in the sense that it depicts a magnanimous tale of rescue and growing bond between two unlikely protagonists – a Muslim man (Abir Chaterjee) from India and a Hindu widow (Maya Ahson) from Bangladesh. Both the protagonists are from the minority community in their respective countries. With the rise of fundamentalist forces across the two countries, this essentially humane story weaves in issues like loneliness, love and sacrifice, lust and betrayal, and the power of commune to reform individuals.

The filming qualities – of the unfolding of the narrative, the camerawork and the use of background songs are superlative bearing the stamp of a great filmmaker. Like Gautam Ghose’s SHANKACHIL this particular film weaves in sub-texts of Indo-Bangladesh ties across the border areas, though both the films are essentially human tales. The director Kaushik Ganguly acts in a supporting role of the suitor for the widow with elan.

Rating: 4 out of 5


In the era subsequent to Sen-Ray-Ghatak, Gautam Ghose has emerged as a true inheritor of their rich legacy. His films draw from the influences of these masters but nonetheless speak in a distinct, independent voice. His contemporaries like Aparna Sen, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Rituparno Ghosh and Sandip Ray and others have distinguished themselves in certain genres and GG, in several ways, have treaded a different path. While the films of Aparna often deal with relationship and loneliness, the films of Rituparno dealt with Tagorean flashbacks and urban relationships, Sandip Ray has stuck to making Feluda films and other stories of his father, while Buddhadeb Dasgupta after a string of political films started his journey of a ‘very personal kind of cinema’ replete with magic realism, surrealism & other devices.

Gautam Ghose has made a long documentary on Satyajit Ray, and the influence of Ray can be seen in the way the strong emphasis on narrative he lays in his works. Making films on performing artistes (Mithun act as a ventriloquist in Gudia, the biopic Moner Manush) had been a recurring feature in the works of Ray (Joy Baba Felunath, Goopy Gane Bagha Byne, Hirak Rajar Deshe, Phatikchand). He also made a sequel on Ray’s ARANYER DIN RATRI as ABAR ARANYE. The deep social commitment of Mrinal Sen runs through in his oeuvre while Partition, a recurring feature in the films of Ghatak, is also seen in the works of GG (Dekha, Shankachil).

The distinct stamp of the filmmaker often surpassing his influences can be seen in the way he combines brilliant photography, good music and socially relevant subjects into a neat, integrated whole. He weaves the unifying vision of Tagore, Lalan Fakir, Kabir, Dara Shikoh and others strongly in the narrative of his recent works (Moner Manush, Shunno Theke Suru). Displacement of indigenous people and loss of tribal knowledge and heritage resonate in Shunno Theke Suru, while lack of basic health care and issues of partition form the backdrop of his most recent work ‘Shankhachil.’

Several award winning documentariesand fourteen feature films later, GG has emerged as a worthy successor to don the mantle of the triumvirate of art cinema.




Gautam Ghose

Posted: April 2, 2018 in Gautam Ghose


Interview of GG in Hindustan Times, 1st April 2018

Ma Bhoomi

Posted: March 24, 2018 in Gautam Ghose, Regional


Ain Rasheed Khan

Posted: May 6, 2017 in Gautam Ghose, Tidbits


Having made his foray into the world of documentary film in 1979, Ain Rasheed Khan a close friend of Gautam Ghose was also the scriptwriter, commentator and interviewer for Ghosh’s film on Ustad Bismillah Khan. Next came his dialogues and script for a documentary on Cancer – SHAM HI TO HAI- and Ghosh then engaged him as the script and dialogue writer for PATANG, which won the National award for Best film in 1994. November 1995 also saw him in London as an additional expert commentary writer for an Indo-British called BEYOND THE HIMALAYAS.

(Src: STATESMAN 22/6/96)



“Kobe hobe sojol borsha
Mone rekhe chi se bhorosa ” – Lalan Fakir
(When’re we getting a wet monsoon,
One’s being optimistic about it …)

An executive (Priyanshu Chaterjee) is assigned a crucial bauxite mining project in the tribal Maoist infested area in Buxar. The adivasis (tribals) of the area resist the takeover of the land for the compensation promised in lieu of the developmental project.
Raka Biswas (Konkana Sen Sharma as a cigarette puffing journo after PAGE 3 ) is reporting on the simmering events in its wake. The ex-Air Hostess wife of Priyanshu is a modern lady capable of controlling tough situations on her own (like taking an accident victim to the hospital and handling cops on her own on behalf of her husband). She also watches English comedy films, gets inebriated and tries to enact life-threatening scenes from Fellini films …
The director does sprinkle hint of an extra martial affair between Priyanshu and Konkana. Priyanshu and Konkana bond over the common project on which they’re working.
Dreamland have become killing fields. The violence and militancy that have gripped the life of Adivasis is woven into the multi-layered narrative which advocates preservation of ecology and tribal heritage and cautions us about calamitous changes should be disregard them. State violence has to stop to quell militant violence. A good Samaritan doctor (Dhiritiman Chatterjee modelled on a Binayak Sen like character) spends his life among tribal sacrificing a lucrative career in urban India doing medical camps as well as teaching kids and adults, gets arrested for treating Maoists (his defense that a doctor’s duty is only to save lives doesn’t find takers).
Priyanshu takes a break from work and goes off on a vacation with his wife to Manali. Gautam Ghose beautifully captures the snowy charm of the tourist town. Priyanshu and his wife stay as a paying guest in the house of an elderly Muslim couple (Soumitro Chatterjee and — ) . Soumitro leads a retired life working on his pet project WAW (War against Weapon) to prevent cyber terrorism. This is the weak link in the film and have possibly been included to present the integrative vision of historical figures (Dara Shikoh, Lalan Fakir and Rabindranath Tagore who have influenced the director considerably) in nation building.
The elderly couple have had a tragedy in their lives. The couple had a son (a BBC correspondent) believed to be killed by security forces in Kashmir. That’s why the lady harbors a concealed hatred towards Hindus (which explodes on occasions – She labels Hindus as ‘kafirs’ and the Hindu gods propagating unhealthy habits like smoking, while Islam teaches her to be disciplined, pray five times and keep ‘Roja.’) However, towards the denouement, she invites the Hindu couple again to visit her.
After Mrinal Sen, Goutam Ghose has emerged to be the most socially conscious among the parallel filmmakers from Bengal. Rabindrasangeet have been used in tune with the breathtaking scenery of Manali – “Hriday amaar naache re, mayur er moto naache re.”
The film ends on an ambiguous note. Overall, the film suffers from inclusion of too many weighty issues into the narrative. Priyanshu Chatterjee acts brilliantly. Konkana is competent. The film is directed by Goutam Ghose.
Rating: 3.8 out of 5

It is heartening to find that powerful films can come from small film industries like Assam in a dialect (Mising) spoken by a minority section of the population of the state. KO-YAD is such a haunting film, it kept me reminding of Jahnu Barua’s HKGOROLOI BOHU DOOR (It is a Long Way to the Sea).

Basically it is a tale of arduous struggle of a boatman Paukum who faced tremendous personal tragedies but bravely faced his circumstances and continued in the profession to eke out a livelihood for his family by catching firewood from the river. He subsisted on “Apong” – a kind of local brew of the people of the area.
Some of the dialogues linger: ” I have two rivers and a boat” (The boat was a gift to the protagonist from his father and was constructed of good timber)
“I had a belief that even if the entire world betrays me the river and the boat would never betray me.”
The film also touches upon issues of the under privileged and their difficulties faced trying to provide professional education like Medicine to their offspring. The filming qualities are remarkable – IMHO at par with the best of International cinema. The excellent cinematography echoed the films of Gautam Ghose and his brilliance in capturing the vagaries of nature. One early scene where the mother of the protagonist commits suicide in the river is beautifully and creatively shot.
The screenplay and direction is by Manju Borah.

Rating: 4.4 out of 5