Actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty had once requested master filmmaker Satyajit Ray to make a third Feluda film, as he didn’t want Feluda fans to be deprived of seeing the iconic sleuth in action. Ray, who had directed Sonar Kella (1974) and Joi Baba Felunath (1979), had decided not to make another Feluda film after Santosh Dutta, who played Jatayu, passed away. The Oscar-winning filmmaker had asked Chakraborty to approach his filmmaker-son Sandip.
Cut to 2016. Sandip met Chakraborty and requested him to play Feluda in his new Double Feluda film. Sandip told him that he wouldn’t make another Feluda film if Chakraborty declines the offer. Chakraborty, who had willingly decided not to continue with the Feluda franchise after Royal Bengal Rahasya (2011), recalled the words of the Pather Panchali filmmaker years ago. This time Chakraborty says he couldn’t deprive Feluda fans a chance to watch their favourite sleuth on screen.
“It was an emotional decision to say yes. When Babuda (Sandip Ray is affectionately known as Babu in the film fraternity) told me he wouldn’t make another Feluda film if I declined the offer, I thought I shouldn’t rob the fans a chance to watch Feluda on screen. Someone should say yes. I did Feluda again for Babuda,” smiles the 60-year-old.
In 2011, Chakraborty had willingly opted out of the Feluda franchise as he felt he was too old to portray the sleuth.
In fact, Chakraborty had suggested names of younger actors such as Abir Chatterjee, Anirban Bhattacharya, Indraneil Sengupta, Priyanshu Chatterjee and Tota Roy Choudhury to play Feluda. Sandip went by his suggestion and even cast Abir in his 2014 Feluda film, Badshahi Angti. However, the filmmaker chose not to cast him again after Abir played another popular literary detective, Byomkesh Bakshi. Sandip didn’t want the same actor to play two well-known literary detectives.
“I have an imagery of Feluda in my mind, and after Royal Bengal Rahasya, I thought I no longer fall into that category. I visualised my own Feluda through the illustrations of Satyajit Ray. After Royal Bengal Rahasya, I felt someone younger should play the role,” says Chakraborty, who also played Feluda in Bombaiyer Bombete (2003), Kailashey Kelenkari (2007), Tintorettor Jishu (2008) and Gorosthaney Sabdhan (2010). He has also essayed the role in a TV series directed by Sandip Ray.
This is the 50th year of Feluda and Sandip has made a double Feluda film to celebrate the anniversary.
Double Feluda will be based on two stories from the Feluda series — Samaddarer Chabi and Golokdham Rahasya.
Chakraborty also had to shed five-six kilos to look the character. He says he is happy with his acting in the new film but isn’t satisfied with his physical appearance.
Will he sign another Feluda film if Sandip insists? “I will do another film if Babuda asks me to,” says Chakraborty, who has also done films like Dil Se, Khakee, Parineeta and Te3n.