FROM SATYAJIT RAY TO ARNAB CHATTERJEE, ACTOR SOUMITRA CHATTERJEE’S 60 YEARS IN CINEMA
It was during the shooting of Jalshaghar (The Music Room), when a young and fresh face visited the sets and was spotted by the Academy Award-winning filmmaker Satyajit Ray. Thus, 1959 witnessed the debut of Soumitra Chatterjee, a twenty-four-year-old man, alongside another debutant, Sharmila Tagore, in the third edition of the iconic Apu Trilogy – Apur Sansar (The World of Apu).
The actor-director duo of Chatterjee and Ray gave us a total of fourteen films between 1959 and 1990, all of which contribute greatly to Indian cinema and world cinema at large, which include films, Debi, Teen Kanya, Abhijan, Charulata, Kapurush, Aranyer Din Raatri, Ashani Sanket, Sonar Kella, Joy Baba Felunath, Hirak Rajar Deshe, Ghare Baire, Ganashatru, and Shakha Proshakha.
Cut to 2018, Soumitra Chatterjee, after having worked with numerous filmmakers of all generations and age-groups in more than three hundred films, is playing the lead in Jonmodin, directed by eighteen-year-old Arnab Chatterjee, who is undoubtedly the youngest acclaimed filmmaker of the nation, and already has an award-winning feature film, Unsaid in his kitty.
Soumitra Chatterjee, who is one of the longest-standing and senior-most actors in India, with a career spanning over sixty years, has experienced it all, from senior-most directors Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha, Ajoy Kar, to the next generation of Goutam Ghose, Rituparno Ghosh, to the younger generation of Sujoy Ghosh, Srijit Mukherji, Atanu Ghosh, Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee, and now the youngest generation, Arnab Chatterjee.
Arnab, who spoke to us during the shoot, told us that it took him nearly two months to reach Soumitra Chatterjee and that he had already started working on another script, thinking that the senior actor would decline the offer considering Arnab’s age.
We got a glimpse of the shoot of Jonmodin, where the thespian and his young director looked ever serious with their work. The plot, as per insiders, revolves around a Bengali family covering three generations, living in Mumbai and Kolkata. The film waits for a summer 2019 release.