Rituporno Ghosh brought the middle-class back to the theatres: Anjan Dutta

Shomini Sen

New Delhi: Singer, song writer, actor and filmmaker Anjan Dutta showcased his National Award winning film ‘Ranjana…Ami Ar Ashbo Na’ (Ranjana…I ain’t coming back) to a packed audience on Day 5 of the ongoing Osian’s Cine Fan Film festival here.

Delhiites braved rains and power cuts for the morning screening of Dutta’s acclaimed film which was released in 2011. The film received three awards at the National Film Awards, including Special Jury Award for the Anjan Dutta, Best Music for Neel Dutta and Best Bangla Feature film.

Based on a fading rockstar’s life and his relationship with a young singer Ranjana, the film stars Anjan Dutta and Bengali actress Parno Mitra in lead roles. The film also stars some very notable musicians of Bengal contemporary music like ace guitarist Amit Dutta and singer and now politician Kabir Suman.

Post the screening, Anjan Dutta along with some of the cast and crew of the film spoke openly about the challenges the movie faced in releasing it outside Bengal.

“The problem lies with us, the makers and the distributors. We need to release the film outside Bengal I realize but somewhere we are not able to do it. I want to release it; I know there is an audience for all kinds of cinema now. We need to push for it,” said the director of films like ‘Bong Connection’ and ‘Bo Barracks’.

Dutta also said that commercial cinema in Bengal was now just mere remakes of South Indian pot boilers. “There are commercial films in Bengal now; they are just remakes of South Indian films.”

“I belong to a movement that has emerged in Bengal in the last one decade. The films that Rituporno Ghosh makes, or Srijit Mukherjee makes or for that matter I make represent the Bengal that it is today. We are talking about today’s Bengal, it’s no more about the Left or the Bhadralok. It is cosmopolitan. They are about homosexuality, rock music and the stories are not restricted to any region.”

Bengali films were at one point of time considered pioneers in storytelling and concepts. But over the years, the industry faded into oblivion and started churning out only potboilers targeted for the rural audience. Anjan Dutta credits Rituporno Ghosh for bringing a change in the Bengali film industry,” Rituporno brought the middle-class back to the theaters. They had stopped visiting the theatre in the 80s because of the kind of films that were being made.”

Meanwhile, the so far smooth festival did face some glitches on its fifth day. Some of events where celebrities like Jackie Shroff and Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra were to interact with the public were scrapped off at the last moment. Due to power outage, the servers were down in the afternoon and no tickets for the screenings were being issued.

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