Veteran actor Dhritiman Chatterjee says he misses political films on Bengali screen, which were a staple in the ’60s and ’70s but are absent these days. Dhritiman, who appeared in several political films in the 70s, the prominent of which are Satyajit Ray’s Pratidwandi and Mrinal Sen’s Padatik, says the present political instability and social chaos are not being reflected in the present-day Bengali films.
The Bengali cinema is preoccupied with the thriller, he says. “There was a healthy trend of political films in the ’60s and ’70s. I was witness to that time from close and had been a part of cinematic works on the subject. Agitations, movements, that was a critical phase. But sadly no more such work these days,” the actor, who is also a regular in Hindi films, told PTI.
“Perhaps the form of airing views has changed. Perhaps streets have been replaced by Facebook. Maybe the level and type of political consciousness have also undergone a change in all these years. But that can also come up in our films. That is why I don’t find most of the scripts here exciting enough,” he adds.
The actor, however, is set to appear in a film with political elements Chilekotha (attic) which covers a time span from the Bengal famine to the Naxalite movement. The 71-year-old actor was recently approached for a Hindi film by a young scriptwriter working for Ramgopal Verma with Nawauzuddin Siddique as a member of the cast.
“Apparently, I am working more on Hindi projects than Bengali of late, though it was not deliberate,” he says. Dhritiman was most recently seen in Pink, which he did because of the comfort level he shares with director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, producer Shoojit Sircar and cinematographer Aveek Mukhopadhyay.