Ghose dishes out new film
If the language of cinema is universal, Goutam Ghose is happy. When a house-full audience in the city gave a standing ovation to his Bangla film, Abar Aranye (In The Jungle, Again), it just underlined that fact.
Ghose's new film, starring Tabu, Rupa Ganguly and Sharmila Tagore along with the thespian of Bangla cinema Soumitra Chatterjee, was screened at the Siri Fort Auditorium as part of the just-concluded Cinemaya Film Festival of Asian Cinema - Cinefan 2003, and is set for a commercial release here. "The audience response to the film in Delhi has been great and we are set to release the film in the Capital in September," informs Ghose.
Of course, if you are a Satyajit Ray fan, you must be aware of Ghose’s inspiration – the Ray classic, Aranyer Din Ratri (The Days And Nights Of The Jungle). Ghose, in fact, doesn’t deny the influence: "I was working on a documentary on Ray when the idea occurred to me. His film was about a group of young friends who go to a jungle for a vacation. I wondered what it would be like if the same characters, now grown old, made another journey to the same forest – this time with their next generation. Since most of the actors from Ray’s classic are still very much around, casting wasn’t a problem."
Most of the actors were sceptical, though. Till Ghose explained to them that he wasn't attempting a sequel – just a progression (a "take-off", he chooses to call it) of the tale.
How did he come about casting Tabu? "Frankly, I had just seen one film of her – Maachis. When I discussed the character as I had visualised it with my wife and daughter, they suggested her name. Tabu plays Sharmila and Soumitra's daughter in the film. I needed someone who could portray angst and sensitivity. She’s perfect."
Beyond films, Ghose is a gourmet who also loves to cook. In fact, he is associated with a Bengali restaurant in Ekdalia Park, Kolkata, called Bhojohori Manna. "I am adventurous about food," he smiles. "And some of the recipes served in the restaurant are mine," he says modestly.