Rituparno Ghosh, one of the most talented young film directors of the country, died at his home here around 7.30am on Thursday. The multiple award winning filmmaker was 49.
Ghosh was suffering from disease of the pancreas. The director died in his sleep. Members of his family discovered his death around 8am. “The doctor said the death was caused by cardiac arrest,” West Bengal minister Arup Biswas said.
Ghosh won more than a dozen national awards. In 2012, his film Abohoman won a national award.
He started his career in advertising in the 80s, when he joined Kolkata-based agency Response and wrote a few memorable campaigns. Ghosh made his first film, Hirer Angti, in 1994. Winner of 12 national and some international awards, Ghosh began his remarkable journey by directing a children's film Hirer Angti in 1994, which won him an instant recognition. His very next film Unishe April won the national award in 1995.
His other award-winning films include Dahan, Asukh, Chokher Bali, Raincoat, Bariwali, Antarmahal, Noukadubi, Abohoman, Chitrangada and Amitabh Bachchan starrer The Last Lear.
As an actor, his path breaking role of a transgender in Chitrangada portrayed the plight of a section of people which had remained neglected in society. Same sex relations, a taboo in Bengali society although accepted in the West, was for the first time revealed through his life and work.
Prominent personalities from Tollywood (Bengali cinema) reached his house at Anwar Shah Road in south Kolkata once the news of his death spread.
“It’s so unexpected. He was supposed to come to watch the new production of our group. But a friend of his called me to say Ghosh had fever and won’t be able to come,” said theatre actor Kaushik Sen.
Ghosh was reckoned a master at capturing the sentiments of the urban educated middle class on reel. He touched this theme in film after film. Unishe April, Abohoman, Utsav, Bariwali, Arekti Premer Golpo, Chokher Bali, Antar Mahal and King Lear, Subho Maharat, Dohon and Osukh are among his noted films.
He also acted in two films, Arekti Premer Golpo and Chitrangada.
Apart from Tollywood personalities, a lot of Bollywood stars such as Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Sharmila Tagore, Rakhi Gulzar, Bipasha Basu, Preity Zinta, Jackie Shroff, Abhishek Bachchan and Soha Ali Khan acted in his films.
Ghosh was working on a sleuth flick called Satyaneshi, based on popular Bengali detective character Byomkesh Bakshi.
(With PTI inputs)