Late Soumitra Chatterjee is one of the finest actors of Bengal. He died recently in a hospital in Kolkata due to Covid related complications. He had a presence in all the cultural pursuits, that befits him. He was actively involved in theatre, films, poetry, literature, and politics. He expired at the rip age of 85.
About The Enigma Soumitra Chatterjee
Soumitra Chatterjee managed to create an aura around himself. He is second only to ‘Mahanayak’ Uttam Kumar. He was born on January 19, 1935. Chattopadhyay family came from Kaya in now Bangladesh. At first, his family stayed at Krishna Nager, Nadia. Later, he and his family shifted to Howrah. He studied Bengali at City College.
He was inclined towards, the arts and literature from a very tender age. Mischievous looking and bright-eyed Soumitra managed to find a spot in the hearts of all the girls around his time. In the battle of Bangal-Ghoti, Uttam-Soumitra is a talking point. Uttam Kumar and Soumitra had acted together in the movie ‘Prisoner of Jind’ translated from ‘Jhinder Bondi.’ It was a battle amongst two of the finest actors of Bengali cinema. Soumitra played a negative role in the movie that released in 1961. Likewise, Soumitra has acted in several genres of movies.
Soumitra Chatterjee also acted in the last part of Trilogy Apu. He made his mark in Indian cinema with Oscar-winning filmmaker Satyajit Ray. Both worked in 14 films together in a span of three decades — from Apur Sansar in 1959 to Shakha Proshakha in 1990.
Working With Other Directors And Genres
Soumitra Chatterjee has also worked with other directors, like Mrinal Sen, Tapan Singh, Ajay Kar amongst others. He has also acted in many dramas, TV series, and other memoirs. In an interview, Soumitra revealed that Satyajit Ray initially was not too keen on casting Soumitra. But he later changed his mind.
Ray created the character Feluda, with Soumitra. Ray had probably written the series, with Soumitra in mind. So, no one else could actually fit into the character. Chatterjee also received the Dada Saheb Phalke Award. Apart from that, he also received the Legion of Honour. He has also published a literary magazine. One of his most successful plays, Ghatak Bidey, ran for around 500 nights. He has given numerous other hits, like Mayurakshi, Basu Paribar, Sanjhbati, and Belaseshe to the viewers. In the year 1988, he worked with John Hurt and Hugh Grant in ‘The Bengali Night,’ a film set in Kolkata.
Chatterjee also acted in the Bengali adaptation of King Lear. It was considered as one of the finest performances till gate. Ray had once said, that Chatterjee was a very intelligent actor. Ray acted like his mentor. He is considered as The Thinking Man’s Hero.
It is a huge loss for the industry to lose Chatterjee. He has left a crater in the creative industry of Bengal today. There seems to be no one who can fill up his shoes at the moment.