15 June, 2021

Behind Singhji’s Piercing Glare

A valuable insight into the technique and work of a consummate artiste

Behind Singhji’s Piercing Glare

This book could set a trend, kicking off a new series. Many greats in varied fields shrink from the thought of a biography and will not consider the idea of commissioning or collaborating on one. Soumitra Cha­­tterjee is one among them, as he admits in a note at the start of the book. Focusing on his work, and delineating twenty of his best roles out of a huge body of work, seems an alterna­t­ive that he was easier with. And ind­eed, though it might ruffle some who would prefer a different selection to the 20 here, or wish the number was closer to 50, the fact remains that the ones the actor has chosen do selectively repre­s­ent the spectrum of his work through a illustrious career.

Unlike many great talents from Bengal who wandered out of the state to find the national limelight in Bom­bay and Hindi films, Sou­mi­tra confined himself to Ban­­gla films. Yes, he won inte­rnational acclaim thanks to his long and enduring ass­ociation with Satyajit Ray and with other directors who found their place in world cinema, but...

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