Rituparno Ghosh's Chitrangada: The Crowning Wish
05 April 2021
Young Journalist Shanku Sharma has given a tribute to
Eminent Film Director "Late Rituparno Ghosh"
with this article written about one of his outstanding production
"Chitrangada : The Crowning Wish"
'If my films help the Bengali film industry in any way, I'll be extremely happy. I'm extremely flattered that I'm being compared with Satyajit Ray. But I feel I'm majorly overrated. I came into Bengali cinema at a time when intelligent urban films were going out of fashion. That's why I found a place quickly.'
Chitrangada: The Crowning Wish (2012)
Chitrangada: The Crowning Wish (2012) is one of the finest films of Rituparno Ghosh. It is one of his seminal works. The film, which was written and directed by him, premiered on May 25, 2012, at the New York Indian Film Festival. Chitrangada is based on the story of Chitrāngadā from the Mahābhārata. The film tells the story of a choreographer who struggles with his gender identity.
Rudra Chatterjee (Rituparno Ghosh) has spent his life breaking the shackles of society by going against social convention. A young Rudra defies his father's wishes and pursues his own career and interest. He became a choreographer instead of an engineer. During the preparation of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore's Chitrangada, he meets Partho (Jisshu Sengupta). Partho is a drug-addict percussionist who is introduced to the team by the main dancer Kasturi (Raima Sen).
There, Rudra develops chemistry with Partho and they end up being in a passionate love affair. They even think of adopting a child. But here lies the problem: same-sex couples are not permitted to adopt a child or children. A lovelorn Rudra instead of dropping the idea of adopting a child takes a decision to undergo a gender change treatment.
He, in fact, wants to embrace womanhood for which he has been longing for. Will the surgery be successful? Will he get his dreams, wishes and aspirations fulfilled? This forms the crux of the story. The message is clear: 'Be What You Wish To Be'.
In addition to it, one can see the day-to-day life of a transgender choreographer, his relation with his parents, and how society treats him. The powerful content, superb acting abilities, and superlative direction skills set the movie apart. Rituparno Ghosh's first-class coupled with some stunning performances by other actors make the movie a must-watch.
Rituparno Ghosh as Rudra "Khokon" Chatterjee,
Jisshu Sengupta as Partho, the percussionist,
Anjan Dutt as Subho,
Anashua Majumdar as Rudra's mother,
Deepankar De as Rudra's father,
Raima Sen as Kasturi,
Kaushik Banerjee as Manish and
Sanjoy Nag (cameo appearance) as Rahul (Rudra's ex-boyfriend).
Rituparno Ghosh (31 August 1963 — 30 May 2013) came into Bengali cinema when it was at a low ebb. Often and rightly compared with the genius Satyajit Ray, Rituparno Ghosh took Bengali cinema to the world stage. He was a film director, actor, writer, and lyricist of international repute. He gave Indian cinema some of the finest films the world has ever seen. Whom Gods love, die young. Rituparno was just 49 when he bade farewell to the world. He passed away on May 30, 2013. But, he went on to make some of the best films in the world. Each film was better than the other.
He started his career as a creative artist at an advertising agency after earning a degree in Economics and shot into the limelight with his second feature film Unishe April (1994) starring Aparna Sen, Debashree Roy, Prosenjit Chatterjee, and Deepankar De. His genius can be gauged from the fact that Unishe April won two National Film Awards including Best Feature Film. In a word, he took modern or contemporary Bengali cinema to newer, greater, and nobler heights. Almost single-handedly he took the cinema world by storm.
Rituparno Ghosh was immensely impressed and influenced by the works of two colossus figures, Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and master filmmaker Satyajit Ray. He made a film titled Jeebon Smriti based on the life of the revered bard. There are innumerable references to Tagore's work in his films. He was a gifted director, a master story-teller, a maverick, and a genius who in his career spanning almost two decades, won 12 National and numerous international awards. Taak Jhaank, his unreleased Bengali film was honoured and also released at the 19th Kolkata International Film Festival.