Cinema: His infinite inheritance

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After Feluda, filmmaker SANDIP RAY is adapting one other of his father’s creations, Professor Shonku

After Feluda, filmmaker SANDIP RAY is adapting one other of his father’s creations, Professor Shonku (Photograph| Subir Halder)

Kolkata’s Lee Highway was just lately renamed Satyajit Ray Dharani. Since ‘dharani’ means earth, the road, it may be stated, encapsulates ‘the world of Satyajit Ray’. The filmmaker had made Aranyer Din Ratri (1970) after transferring right here. He wrote his well-known fictional non-public detective Feluda books, right here too. The constructing the place he lived is now a shrine for cinephiles. Inside, Sandip Ray’s front room nonetheless resembles his father’s. There are books throughout.

“For my father, Feluda went to locations he had gone to already. However Professor Shonku, was completely different as a result of he travelled the world and past. Within the first e book, for instance, he goes to Mars,” says Sandip, 66.

Professor Shonku will now be seen on display for the primary time on December 20. Shonku O El Dorado, although not the primary of the sequence, will see the eccentric professor search for the legendary metropolis within the Amazonian rainforests. Written in 1961, the Shonku sequence was one thing Ray had created for the Puja version of Sandesh, a youngsters’s journal he used to edit. “Initially, he would principally translate Lewis Carroll or Edward Lear for it, till, I suppose, he felt like creating one thing of his personal. Shonku was thus born and have become successful,” says Sandip.

As a reader and a fan, Sandip has been deeply keen on Shonku. Feluda was a favorite too, however Shonku “got here first”. Ray by no means filmed Shonku as a result of he was not sure of the standard of VFX and animation in India, and since “it will imply taking pictures overseas”. Shonku O El Dorado needed to be filmed virtually completely in Brazil: “It kind of fell into place. We’ve got come far by way of know-how. And our producers (SVF Leisure) had labored within the Amazon belt earlier than.”

Talking of casting, Sandip says, “Dhritiman (Chatterjee, who performs Shonku) was an apparent alternative. I wished a Bengali man of the suitable age and whose diction can be above par.” He admits that one must be particularly cautious with Shonku as a result of he has an virtually fanatical fan following. “Particularly in today of social media, I wanted to be doubly cautious. Shonku was more durable as we have been setting the benchmark,” he says. Sandip claims to not have deviated from the books, besides maybe for the depiction of Annhilin, one in every of Shonku’s many innovations. “We could not make it seem like a pistol. It would not get previous customs. In my father’s time, airport safety was maybe extra lax,” he laughs.

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