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This article was first published 11 years ago

Amitabh: Rituparno and I were planning a film together

Last updated on: May 30, 2013 18:43 IST

Image: Amitabh Bachchan
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters Indrani Roy, Sonil Dedhia, Subhash K Jha, with inputis from PTI

The sudden demise of acclaimed Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh has sent shockwaves through his legions of fans, colleagues and friends from the film industry across the country.

The late filmmaker's The Last Lear leading man Amitabh Bachchan remembers him:

I'm deeply shocked with the news. It was just yesterday that I was talking about him with Sujoy Ghosh.

We have lost a very sensitive and the most creative mind.

I had spoken to him just a few weeks ago about a film we wanted to do together.

'Rituparno Ghosh's death is a huge loss for film industry'

Image: Raakhee Gulzar in Shubho Muhurat

Raakhee Gulzar, who worked in Ghosh's award-winning 2003 whodunit Shubo Mahurat, recalls him fondly:

"What a talented boy he was! And so driven.

"He was especially good at dealign with is female characters.I had a wonderful time working with him. Why did he have to go so early when his best was clearly yet to come?"

Soumitra Chatterjee, one of the most respected Bengali actors of his generation, worked with the late director in his 1999 film Asukh as a conflicted father who is forced to live off his daughter's earnings.

The veteran actor said after hearing the tragic news, "I am left with no words. How can someone, who is so young and so talented die so suddenly?

"He was, perhaps, one of the most gifted filmmakers of modern times. It's an irreparable loss for the film fraternity. I am too sad to say anything else."

'He had a very natural and unique style of filmmaking'

Image: Shefali Shah in The Last Lear

Actress Shefali Shah, who worked in Ghosh's 2007 film The Last Lear:

It is unfortunate that Rituparno (Ghosh) is not with us today. I just heard the news and couldn't believe it. I had a wonderful experience working in The Last Lear.

He had a very natural and unique style of filmmaking, his films were lyrical and poetic.

I remember while shooting for The Last Lear, he knew exactly what he wanted from each of his actors. He allowed me to improvise on the sets and let me be.

He would always put his heart and soul in the film. He was very enthusiastic about his work and very dedicated to giving his best to his work.

It was a lovely experience to work with him. I loved all his films and wouldn't be able to single out one film if you asked me.

It's a huge loss for the industry.

Shefali Shah spoke to Sonil Dedhia

'His passing away is a huge loss for the LGBT community too'

Image: Richa Chaddha

Meanwhile, other stars took to Twitter as soon as the news broke.

Richa Chaddha wrote, "RIP Rituparno Ghosh. Thank you for the movies."

Director Onir posted, "Shocked and still hoping that its not true. Film maker and friend Rituparno Ghosh is no more. Apparently had a massive heart attack.

"His passing away will be a big loss not only to lovers of cinema and art , but a huge loss to the LGBT community."

'He was dreaming of getting into what he called his 'next phase''

Image: Shyam Benegal
Photographs: Dinesh Parab

Shyam Benegal tweeted: "Absolutely shocked, shattered to hear the news.'

Shekhar Kapur: "Shocked by passing of Rituparno Ghosh. He was dreaming of getting into what he called his 'next phase'. Hugely creative explorer on film.

"Every passing of a friend is a reminder 2 not delay your dreams. The time is not tomorrow. It is now. This moment. RIP Rituparno Ghosh." 

'Loss of a dear friend, adventurous filmmaker'

Image: Arjun Rampal
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

Actor Arjun Rampal, who was also a part of The Last Last Lear, wrote, "Absolutely numbed by the saddest news of Rituparno Ghosh not being with us anymore. Loss of a dear friend, adventurous filmmaker. Who taught me so much. A bit too premature departure, will always feel your void my friend. RIP.

"Rituparno always with such energy and life, can't believe won't see him again. Will miss him too much."

Anupam Kher wrote, "Rituparno Ghosh had called few months back. Offered great role. Was looking fwd to working with him. One of d finest directors of our times.

"He had great sense of humour. He had a brilliant understanding of human behaviour. Will miss him and his cinema. RIP my Friend."

'He was a creative genius who gave a new dimension to filmmaking'

Image: Manish Tewari

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari too offered condolences:

I am deeply shocked by the tragic and premature death of Ghosh. He was a creative genius who gave a new dimension to filmmaking with every film that he was associated with.

His films always left a deep imprint on minds of the audiences who were captivated by the honest portrayal of human emotions. Cinema has lost a visionary, as Ghosh was always innovative and bold in undertaking new themes for his films," he said.

His death has left a void which will be very difficult to fill. I pray to God that his family gathers the necessary strength to overcome this crisis.


Jackie Shroff

Image: Jackie Shroff

Sujoy Ghosh, who was set to make his acting debut as Byomkesh Bakshi in Ghosh's upcoming film, was desperately trying to arrange an air ticket to Kolkata.

"It's so sudden.I can't believe RituDa is gone!" Sujoy exclaimed before he hurriedly signed off.

Ritu's closest friend -- Bengali actor Prosenjit -- who worked in several of Ghosh's highly-acclaimed films including Chokher Bali and Dosar, said, "It's so sudden. He was all right until midnight on Wednesday night.On Thursday morning he was gone. This can't be true."

'He had a brilliant understanding of human behaviour'

Image: Kirron Kher in Bariwali

Rituparno Ghosh was a magical director. It is unfortunate that he is not present amongst us today. It is a huge loss. It was a privilege to work with him. He could bring out the best out of any actor.

I can't think of any other director who could get nuanced performances out of his actors as wekk as he did.

As a director, he had a great eye for detail. If there was a close-up shot of a smiling face, he would ask the actor to brush their teeth.
He was a realistic director who wanted every thing to look real. It was difficult to impress him but that was the beauty of being directed by him.

I remember while I was shooting for Bariwali, he would tell me to wipe my face before my shot to make sure that I was not using any makeup.

I am fortunate to have worked with him.

The last time I spoke with him was over four years back. He wanted to cast my son Sikandar (Kher) in a movie Aarekti Premer Golpo (2009).

Although it didn't materialise, we always remained on very cordial terms.  

Not many people know that Rituparno had a great sense of humour.

He was very articulate and could talk on any topic. He liked eating good food, wearing good clothes.

He also had a lot of interest in music and painting. He had a brilliant understanding of human behaviour.

Tags: Bariwali

'Will really miss his exuberance and zest for movies'

Image: Bipasha Basu

Bipasha Basu tweeted: 'Landed in coimbatore n got heartbreaking news!Ritu da has passed away!Dont want to believe it!I have such wonderful memories with him! Rip Ritu Da!It's not an age to go away!Death baffles me!It just makes you realize u can go anytime.'

Mira Nair: 'Tragic news of film maker Rituparno Ghosh passing away - so young, so brilliant, a great experimenter in all cinema and life - a flame dies.'

Abhishek Bachchan: 'Absolutely shocked with the news of the passing of Ritu da. A dear friend and a great director and a wonderful, wonderful human. Had the honour of working with him in Antarmahal. Such a fine director. Will really miss his exuberance and zest for the movies and life.  Just realised that Ritu da was the only director that my family have all worked with individually. Pa- last lear, Ma- sunglasses, Aishwarya- choker bali, raincoat and me- Antarmahal.'

'His way of looking at things was so unique'

Image: Ajay Devgn

Ajay Devgn, who worked in Ghosh's 2004 film Raincoat, wrote: 'Shockd & saddend 2 hear of rituparno ghosh. It was grt wrking wit him in Raincoat &his way of looking at things was so diffrent and unique.'

Konkona Sen Sharma, Ghosh's protagonist from his 2002 film Titli, wrote, 'Rituporno Ghosh, 1963 - 2013. We will remember you.'

R Madhavan: 'OH God.. Saddened to hear of the untimely demise of a very learned man and one of my directors Rutuporno Ghosh.RIP My friend.'

Manoj Bajpayee: 'Sad to hear about the passing off a very dynamic talented rituparno ghosh.#RIP will miss you my friend!'

Kunal Kohli: 'Sad n shocking to hear about Rituparno Ghosh. RIP.'

Rekha Bhardwaj: 'R.I.P. Rituparno ghosh, its unbelievable. Makes me very sad......'

Celina Jaitly: 'Absolutely shocked and numb to hear Rituda (legendary filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh) passed away a few hrs..ago.'

Tara Sharma: 'Terribly sad to hear #RituparnoGhosh passed & way too soon A legendary filmmaker & lovely person Worked wth him for a day on Mumbai Cutting.'

'He was a phenomenally creative director'

Image: Kabir Bedi
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

Kabir Bedi: 'Stunned by Rituparno Ghosh's tragic passing. A phenomenally creative director! We'd discussed a Tagore project... RIP.'

Rohit Roy: 'Just heard about Ritu da... This is unbelievable :-( Just spoke to him a couple of days back to say I'm coming to kol for my release.. RIP.'

Divya Dutta: 'Shocked to hear about rituda!not sinking in!fondest memories of wrking wth him in the last lear!RIP'

Madhur Bhandarkar: 'I m speechless & shocked to know that talented filmmaker Rituparna Ghosh has expired.'

Parineeti Chopra: 'Had the honour of meeting Rituporna Ghosh this year at the National Awards. Cannot believe how unpredictable life is. RIP sir.'

Riteish Deshmukh: 'Saddened to hear the news of Rituparno Ghosh - was always warm n humble.. Condolences to the family.. . RIP.'

Shreya Ghoshal: 'So depressed since this morning. One of my most fav director Rituparno Ghosh is no more. What an incredible director, a true genius..'

Farhan Akhtar: 'Shocked to hear about the untimely passing of Rituparno Ghosh. RIP. Condolences to the family.'

'His films displayed a deep affection for human beings'

Image: Sudhir Mishra
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

Filmmaker Sudhir Mishra paid a touching tribute to the late filmmaker.

He tweeted: 'Seems just d other day when a young man with long hair n a French beard came to my house. He had submitted a script to d Children's film soc. Shabana Azmi was head of d CFSI n had asked us who were on d Script Committee to read his script. D young man softly said "Hi I am rituparno."'

'Ritu sat down n very softly said that I know u can read but may I read out d script 2 u.Want u to feel d nuance of d dialog n d treatment. I rember d detail of d script n d wonderful rhythm of d dialog quirky sense of humor n d affection with which d characters were written,' Mishra added.

'He went on 2make a range of films all of which displayed a deep affection for human beings n a wondrful grasp of d ironical nature of life. Hell I will miss your films my brother Ritu! But I will keep seeing d ones that u made again n again,' he added further.