The works of Rabindranath Tagore have always fascinated filmmakers, as these are universal — in time, space, emotions and human relationships, writes Shoma A. Chatterji
The homespun philosophy of Sarat Chandra and the romantic spirit of Bankim Chandra had more appeal than the non-conformist and feminist themes, which Tagore dealt with. Yet, Tagore has been recognised as a rich literary source for very good cinema. Satyajit Ray’s films based on Tagore’s works offer the best example. In 1961, Ray made Teen Kanya (Three Daughters), on three Tagore short stories — Postmaster, Monihara and Samapti. The other Tagore works he filmed are Charulata and Ghare Baire.
Tagore’s works are universal — in time, space, emotions and human relationships. They offer filmmakers a challenge to make the film as powerful, credible and appealing on celluloid as it is in print. A film based on, adapted from, interpreted from Tagore’s oeuvre offers scope for argument, discussion, analysis, debate and questions among the audience, critics and scholars. A massive volume of scholarly treatises came out after Satyajit Ray’s Charulata, leading to a new genre — writing on films based on Tagore’s works.
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