It has been 12 months since we lost Soumitra Chattopadhyay, the man who used to straddle Bengali cinema just like a colossus from 1959. Soumitra had entered the world of cinema with Satyajit Ray’s ‘Apur Sansar’ and their journey continued with 13 more films. However, many believe his stint with Ray films had actually overshadowed his equally brilliant works with other iconic filmmakers such as Tapan Sinha, Asit Sen, Ajoy Kar, Mrinal Sen and Tarun Mazumder to name a few.
Interestingly, Soumitra Chattopadhyay had always believed that he became a household name because of the success of his works with other directors. Veteran actor Paran Bandopadhyay who knew the thespian closely feels the same.
“His second film after ‘Apur Sansar’ was also a super hit. Soumitra Chattopadhyay worked with so many directors, like Tarun Mazumdar (‘Ektuku Basa’, ‘Sansar Simante’, ‘Ganadevata’), Harisadhan Dasgupta (‘Eki Onge Eto Rup’), Ajoy Kar (‘Saat Pake Bandha’, ‘Malyadan’), Nityananda Datta (‘Baksha Badal’), Mrinal Sen (‘Akash Kusum’ and ‘Mahaprithibi’), Inder Sen (‘Pratham Kadam Phul’), Salil Datta (‘Stree’ and ‘Aparichita’), Saroj Dey (‘Koni’), O C Ganguly (‘Kinu Goalar Goli’), Asit Sen (‘Swaralipi’) and Ashutosh Bandopadhyay (‘Teen Bhubaner Pare’) to name a few. The list is huge. I can’t mention each and every film. The fact is there were even some directors who had no problem with Soumitra prioritizing Ray’s films over theirs. I think if he wasn’t introduced to the world of Satyajit Ray films, Soumitra Chattopadhyay still will be a significant figure with his independent stature,” explains the veteran actor.
Paran Bandopadhyay also adds for someone who used to say death can make the smallest joys of living even more meaningful, and who always wanted to pass away while acting, it was quite fitting that he was shooting for a docu-series ‘Aami Chatterjee’ only days before being admitted to the hospital. The veteran actor who will soon be seen in Dev starrer ‘Tonic’ mentions yet another interesting point.
According to him, Soumitra Chattopadhyay always preferred to wear his star status very casually.