Soumitra Chatterjee
Soumitra Chatterjee
Photo via Pinterest

Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. According to reports, the 85-year-old was feeling unwell for the past few days.

After testing positive for COVID-19, Chatterjee's family decided to get him admitted. A report by The Bengal Story stated that his condition is stable, as per hospital sources.

Chatterjee is best known for his collaborations with Oscar-winning film director Satyajit Ray. The duo has worked together in 14 films.

Soumitra made his film debut with 'The World of Apu' in 1959. He also featured as Feluda/Pradosh Chandra Mitter, the famous private investigator from Calcutta. This led to two films - Sonar Kella (1974) and Joi Baba Felunath (1979).

"After coming to Kolkata, there was a time when I became an avid theatre watcher and had certain prejudices about films. But when I saw 'Pather Panchali' in 1955, my views about films changed forever. It made me forget all my prejudices and fall in love with cinema," Chatterjee said at a session in Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet 2019.

Reminiscing his first interaction with Ray, Chatterjee said the auteur was extremely focused about minute details of the actors he used to cast and gave a lot of importance to their Bengali diction.

Explaining how he gets into the skin of the characters, Chatterjee said: "To understand a role I study the entire background of the character, his life, the surrounding and everything else. I actually draw the family tree to understand a character completely."

"I am a very dissatisfied man so I keep doing different things and am still working. Though I enjoy the moment I work, for instance even a 10-minute shot brings me happiness, but am not able to carry it forward," he said.

"Filmmaking is teamwork and it is important for the actors to know each other and build connections. Also, the actors must understand the vision of the director and there has to be a productive exchange," advised Chatterjee, who has acted in more than 300 films.

His other cinematic milestones include 'Aparajito' (The Unvanquished), 'Charulata' (The Lonely Wife), 'Aranyer Din Ratri' (Days and Nights in a Forest) and 'Ashani Sanket' (Distant Thunder).

Chatterjee has been felicitated with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and is the only Indian film personality conferred with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France's highest award for artists. He was also awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2004.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal