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Meet the filmmaker who can take on Ray

By Indrani Roy Mitra
December 08, 2008 15:54 IST
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At last the Bengal film industry may see the rise of a director, who can take on the legendary Satyajit Ray. The person in question is none other Sandip Ray, Ray's only child and a filmmaker in his own right.

While Ray could make only two Feluda films in his lifetime, his son has finished the third one -- Tintorettor Jishu. This is the first time that a Feluda film has been shot abroad -- a major part of the film's locale is set in Hong Kong.

Ray's Feluda aka Prodosh Chandra Mitter, is a suave sleuth and Bengal's own Sherlock Holmes. Long before the Internet and infotainment, Feluda was the seducer of young minds. In the 1970s and 1980s, Bengali children learnt about the world from him. He is an irresistible combination of charm, intelligence and intellect.

Just as Ray fans lamented the death of this hero, both in novels and in film, after the filmmaker's demise, Ray's son decided to revive the character with his Bombaiyer Bombete. And instead of the much-liked Soumitra Chatterjee as Ray's Feluda, Sandip chose Sabyasachi Chakraborty, a familiar face in the Bengal and even Hindi film industry.  

Luckily, Chakraborty's macho image went down well with the Feluda fans -- Soumitra Chatterjee has even applauded his onscreen charisma.

Riding high on the success of Bombaiyer Bombete, Sandip filmed a second Feluda film Kailashe Kelenkari last year. It was quite successful.

Tintorettor Jishu revolves around a famous painting by the Italian maestro Tintoretto. The creation resides with the Niyogi family. A family member steals it, and soon, international smugglers are interested in it. Feluda chases the criminals all the way to Hong Kong, where a surprise awaits him.

"It was the nail-biting climax of the novel that motivated me to do the film," Sandip said. "Since the viewers liked the other two Feluda films so much, I am sure they would not have anything to complain against this one either."

Post-production work on Tintorettor Jishu is over and the film will be out this winter.

Rumour has it that Sandip will soon be seen in a Hindi film, based on a short story by ace author Balaichand Mukhopadhyay. But he refused to divulge any details yet. 

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Indrani Roy Mitra