Siddharta, Byomkesh reflect same spirit: Dhritiman

Kolkata: The two films may have been shot over 40 years apart, but veteran actor Dhritiman Chatterjee says both his characters in Satyajit Ray`s `Pratidwandi` and Saibal Mitra`s `Sajarur Kanta` reflect the same spirit of contemporary urban Bengali middle class.

Dhritiman essayed the role of Siddharta, a youth in search of a job, in Ray`s 1970 classic `Pratidwandi`, while in `Sajarur Kanta`, he is the archetypal Bengali fictional sleuth Byomkesh Bakshi.

"Like Siddhartha in `Pratidwandi`, Byomkesh in `Sajarur Kanta` is a contemporary character in spirit though the similarities are not apparent," says Dhritiman.

"Though the two films were shot in different time zones and by two directors poles apart, they are the same in spirit representing the contemporary middle class urban Bengali," the cerebral actor said.

"I have shunned the typical dhoti-kurta worn by Byomkesh and went for the present day formal/ non-formal men`s wear," Dhritiman says about his costume in the film where he shares screen with Konkona Sensharma and Indraneil Sengupta.

Claiming that his Byomkesh, falling in the age limit of 60s, was the most apt characterisation of the sleuth befitting writer Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay`s scheme of things, Dhritiman says, "My character is more cerebral than other prototypes."

"I am not belittling others. But Byomkesh, as envisaged by Sharadindu, is not solely driven by the role of a crime-buster. He is a truth seeker (Satyaneswi) and I drew a prototype of him in consultation with the director," says the actor with a 40-year long career.

"My Byomkesh, the oldest, looks at things from a wider point of view unlike other sleuth avatars by other directors. So when you talk about many other Byomkesh films happenings, including the one by Dibakar Banerjee, perhaps that is the difference (with ours)," Dhritiman says.

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