Goodbye memory-maker: Prosenjit, Srijit and others mourn Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s demise
Bengali star Prosenjit Chatterjee, filmmaker Srijit Mukherji and actor Rahul Bose on Thursday paid tributes to celebrated filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta, who passed away due to age related ailments. The 77-year-old national award-winning director, who had been battling kidney ailments for quite some time, died at his residence here early on Thursday following a cardiac arrest, his family members said.
Dasgupta began his career as a lecturer in a college before taking a plunge into filmmaking in the 70s, after having enrolled his name as a member of Calcutta Film Society. Some of his notable films include “Neem Annapurna”, “Grihajuddha”, “Bagh Bahadur”, “Tahader Katha”, “Charachar”, “Lal Darja”, “Uttara”, “Swapner Din”, “Kaalpurush” and “Janala”. Dasgupta had also directed Hindi films — “Andhi Gali” and “Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa”.
Chatterjee, who worked with the filmmaker in the 2004 drama “Swapner Din” and “Ami, Yasin Ar Amar Madhubala” in 2007, took to Twitter and posted a heartfelt note. The actor said he was deeply saddened by Dasgupta”s demise and remembered him as a “shining name”, not just in the Indian cinema but also in the “international film world”.
“Fortunately, I had the opportunity to do two films with him and I went with him to various film festivals to find out how much his other genre of cinema is appreciated internationally… Buddha Da is also incomparable as a human being. Be well, stay with us through your work,” Chatterjee wrote in Bengali.
Mukherji said Dasgupta”s films have shaped up his cinema memory, leaving a strong impact with his impeccable storytelling. Mukherji especially remembered Dasgupta”s two films — 1982 drama “Grihajuddha”, which had the Naxalite movement in Bengal of the 1970s as the backdrop, and 1989 drama “Bagh Bahadur”, about a man who paints himself as a tiger and dances in a village.
“Even his last film ”Urojahaj” bore the stamp of his class and poetry in every frame. Goodbye, Memory-maker,” Mukherji wrote.
“Urojahaj”, which released in 2019, was the last film Dasgupta directed. The Chand Roy Sanyal-headlined drama had its world premiere at MAMI.
Parno Mitra, who had also featured in the film, took to Twitter and wrote, “It”s been an honour to have worked with you in ”Urojahaj.”
Actor Sudiptaa Chakraborty said she was fortunate to have collaborated with the filmmaker on two of his projects — “Mondo Meyer Upakhyan” (2002) and “Kaalpurush” in 2005, which also featured Mithun Chakraborty and Rahul Bose.
“Poet and Filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta is no more. In the post Ray-Ghatak era, he was one of the most celebrated and valued Indian (and Bengali) filmmaker in the international diaspora,” she said.
Actress Deepti Naval posted an old photo to pay tribute to Dasgupt a. She captioned it as, “Heartbreaking news – just heart that our dear director Buddhadev Dasgupta passed away this morning. I had the good fortune of working with him in ‘Andhi Gali’ and over the years have known him as a wonderful, gentle human being and as a sensitive poet. Very saddened at his departure . . . May his soul rest in peace!”
Bose took to Instagram and described “Kaalpurush” as one the most satisfying films of his career. The actor said Dasgupta was a “part poet, part filmmaker”, which was reflected in his cinema, from his storytelling and framing to the sound.
“Working on ”Kaalpurush” was challenging, engrossing. It was a delicate film with tenderness and depth running through it like two best friends. It took time for me to understand Buddhada”s style of direction. But once we understood each other the relationship flowed with ease,” Bose said.
The actor remembered the filmmaker as a sensitive, emotionally acute “with an impish sense of humour” and wrote how he would miss the time spent with him during shootings and travelling to various film festivals.
“Eating, drinking, walking new streets, talking, sharing ideas and always laughing, his sense of humour always ready to bubble out in a conversation. It”s a cliche when people pass away that we say – ”he/she/they will be missed”.
“But for those who truly love cinema, these words will never be truer than now. My thoughts and wishes go out to his family and loved ones,” he added.
Filmmaker and West Bengal MLA Raj Chakrabarty tweeted his condolences to Dasgupta and wrote, “Recipient of numerous national and international honours, legendary filmmaker and renowned poet, #BuddhadebDasgupta has passed away. Sincere condolences to his family and friends.”
Bollywood actor Pankaj Tripathi, who worked with Dasgupta on “Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa”, said he shared a “very wonderful and loving relation” with the filmmaker. “I remember I got a call from his team from Kolkata for ”Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa” and Buddha da said he is making a film and he wants me in it and next week I was in Kolkata. It was an important cameo. It was a great learning experience working with him. He was a master of cinema. I remember we would chat a lot about cinema, life. Later I met him at a film festival and I have always loved being around him. It is a sad day today for all of us but his cinema will stay alive among us,” the actor said.
Dasgupta is survived by his wife and two daughters from his previous marriage.