30 October, 2020

Ritu’s Memories In May

A matrix of themes bind a well-researched study of Rituparno’s films. Missing beats are drowned in praise.

Ritu’s Memories In May

When you are working with a filmmaker, if he’s a friend, you don’t really go through the nuances of his work, you tend to take it for granted as something that’s always there. Rituparno Ghosh’s death on May 30 a year ago stunned everyone. A year later, it leaves me wondering, much belatedly, whether I should have paid more attention to the director than to the friend. Then Shoma A. Chatterji’s readings fell into my hands.

A respected film scholar, Chatterji has analysed Rituparno’s ‘voice’ in the first critical book-length study of his work in English.

She looks at the films through a matrix of five categories—women-centric films, relationships, contemporary literature, Tagore and alternative sexuality—and then delves into each after narrating the stories in detail. Unishe April, for example, is indexed through patriarchy, feminism and Marxism, almost too many cat­­egories to seem possible and verging sometimes on hair-splitting, though to do Cha­tterji justice, her research has been...



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