Dubbing ‘Apur Panchali’ as a collage of Satyajit Ray trilogy ‘Pather Panchali’, ‘Apur Sansar’ and ‘Aparajito’, director Kaushik Ganguly says he has gone further by chronicling the life of the child actor.
“‘Apur Panchali’ is inspired by the life of child Apu – Subir Bandyopadhyay – who went into oblivion as he grew old. It has elements of the three timeless classics of trilogy, but it is beyond that, more than that,” Ganguly told PTI.
Terming the film as a docu-feature built on a fictional narrative, Kaushik agrees that his film follows the tradition to build up plots and frames on the lives of those away from the arclights.
“My cinematic language dwells on the not famous, unassuming types be it a transsexual in ‘Arekti Premer Galpo’ a blind poet in ‘Laptop’ to a foley artiste in ‘Shabdo’. ‘Apur Panchali’ is about a person, who was once the cynosure of all the screenings at festivals world over, but now leads an obscure life in a city suburb,” Kaushik said.
“May be, I have introduced a new film language, the language of subalterns in different milieus. I guess that is significant as without an identity, in terms of dialogue, images and sounds, films will be reduced to a string of images,” the national-award-winning ‘Shabdo’ director said.
On casting Parambrata Chatterjee as the grown-up Apu aka Subir, Kaushik said, “Having been well versed with ‘Pather Panchali’ the film and classic, Param could grasp the character more than many others I guess. And he had that striking similarity with Subir in his 30s.”
‘Apur Panchali’ locally premiered for the common audience in April, long after it was feted and crowned with Silver Peacock in IFFI.
“This is the procedure for certain films. To get these screened in festivals here and abroad and then release in public domain. A section of audience in urban areas are now more and more hooked to our films. For them we are scripting stories, which are untold ones. Nobody wants to hear known stories,” he said.
On choosing film heritage spot Boral, the typical rural hamlet frequented by Apu and Durga in ‘Pather Panchali’, as the setting of his film, Kaushik said, “Boral is synonymous with the Ray classic. The village pond, the insects frolicking on water, the mango orchard and the impending storm, all are part of the film folklore.
“And we did not pass off another place as Boral in the film because there is an emotional connect with the place.”
Parambrata said it was once in a lifetime role for him.
“It is very unconventional. I had read and seen Pather Panchali at a very young age. But then as I grew up, I kept revisiting the classic – on celluloid and in print,” he said
Produced by Sree Venkatesh Films, ‘Apur Panchali’ will be released in the last week of April.