The genius of Ritwik Ghatak
written by Souranath Banerjee.
Renowned Indian Film Director Ritwik Ghatak made his first film Nagarik in 1952 (even before Satyajit Ray filmed Pather Panchali) but unfortunately the film was released twenty four years later, after the death of the director himself.
Probably Nagarik was the first art film of such caliber in the history of Indian Cinema but certainly never got the recognition it deserved.
Did Ritwik Ghatak himself got the recognition he deserved?
Well, I guess so.
Ritwik Ghatak was awarded Padma Sri for Arts in 1970 by the government of India.
His name is always taken in the same breath along with Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen considering them as the Best Indian/Bengali directors of all times.
Bagged the National Award for the story of his film Jukti Tokko Aar Goppo (Reason, Debate and a Story).
The popular film Madhumati (staring Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala, directed by Bimal Roy) got nominated in the Film Fare Award for the Best Story category and guess who wrote the story – Ritwik Ghatak.
Some of his films especially Meghe Dhaka Tara, Komal Gandhar, Subarnarekha, Ajantrik, Jukti Tokko Aar Goppo and Bari Theke Paliye are immensely appreciated and analysed by all the students in all the major film schools (especially in India).
Isn’t that enough recognition?
May be. May be not.
But one thing i can say with certainty – in this world some people doesn’t give a damn about other’s recognition and Ritwik Ghatak was one such genius.
His unique faming and composition techniques, his innovative sound designing, his realistic take on the society challenged the regular norms of film-making in that era.
In both conceptual and practical levels Ritwik Ghatak dared to be artistically different and he redefined Cinema in his own way.
Probably Ritwit Ghatak’s biggest recognition would be the influence he had (i am sure he still has) on the future generations of film makers including the likes of Kumar Shahani, Mani Kual, Mira Nair, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Ketan Mehta, John Abraham among many others.
The genius of Ritwik Ghatak, his dedication towards cinema and his vision can be best expressed in his own words –
‘Film-making is not an esoteric thing to me. I consider film-making – to start with – a personal thing. If a person does not have a vision of his own, he cannot create.‘
‘I believe in committed cinema.
I mean, commitment in the broadest sense of the term.‘