Kolkata: The first movie theatre that comes to the mind of a cultured Bengali person is Nandan, in Kolkata, which was named by the great film director of all time, Satyajit Ray. But Ray's biopic Aparajito (The Undefeated) did not find a show time there. The incident has caused outrage among the cine-loving people of West Bengal.
Yesterday, on May 13, film director Anik Dutt, famous for his Bhooter Bhobishyot (Future of the Ghost), released his new film Aparajito. The film is based on the story behind the making of proverbial director Satyajit Ray's time-honoured film Pather Panchali.
West Bengal Film Center—Nandan, located at the junction of Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Road and Cathedral Road, is a paradise for the cine-loving people of Kolkata. Ray himself was present at the inauguration ceremony of this theatre with Chief Minister Jyoti Basu in 1985. Ray is also the one who is deeply involved in the design of the theatre interior, the name and logo of the exterior, and even the naming of Nandan. The then Left Front government established the auditorium with Ray's personal initiative, advice and cooperation. But the film Aparajito based on Ray's life, did not find a place in his Nandan.
Director Anik had to face the same problem earlier during the release of Bhobishyoter Bhoot Sources said that the movie Aparajito is also not being shown in 'Radha' theatre in Tollygunge. However, the film is being released today in several multiplexes and a few single screens in the city and suburbs.
In this context, director Anik Dutt told the media, "The audience has been waiting long to see the film. Even at present, it is not possible for everyone to go to the multiplex and see the pictures. So if the picture was shown in Nandan or other single screens in the city, it could reach a lot of people.” He added, "My viewers love to see movies in Nandan; the audience was disappointed that it was not showing in Nandan."
A few days ago, the film crew went to City College to promote the film. The director said, "The students there asked me with great interest whether the film was coming to Nandan or not. I have been listening for several days now; the picture may not be shown in Nandan. So I could not give the correct answer to their question. It would have been nice if the picture had been shown in Nandan. Not only the city but also the suburban visitors come to see the pictures in Nandan."
Director Anik Dutt has always been in the news for his film-making technique. Be it Bhooter Bhobishyot or Bhobishyoter Bhoot, or Aschorjo Pradip, the language of his film is modern, and it occasionally embarrasses the ruling party. Is there any political reason behind not showing Anik's latest film in Nandan? The director has not yet said anything clearly about this. But he has enough regrets for not getting the show released at Nandan. The film's production company, Friends Communications, said they would discuss the matter with the government.
The films that are showing at Nandan at the moment are—Dev's movie Kismis, Soham's Kolkatar Harry and Mimi's film Mini. Incidentally, the ruling party (TMC) has direct contact with these three actors. Dev and Mimi are Members of Parliament of the ruling party from the state, and Soham is a Member of the WB Legislative Assembly. On the other hand, the ruling party has no involvement in Aparajito. Moreover, Anik directly attacked the Chief Minister from the stage of the release of his previous film. It is unknown at this time what is the actual reason behind this.
However, Trinamool Congress leader and actress Sayoni Ghosh wrote a long post on Facebook about Aparajito but did not comment on it not getting showtime in Nandan.