Chatterjee said Satyajit Ray's literary works are popular outside West Bengal as many Feluda and Shonku stories were translated into English.
Actor Dhritiman Chatterjee has said Satyajit Ray never thought of making a movie on his fictional character Professor Shonku as the technology required for making such a film was not available in that era. Chatterjee will essay the role of a globe-trotting scientist in the upcoming film ‘Professor Shonku O Eldorado’, directed by the oscar-winning filmmaker’s son Sandip Ray.
“Manikda (as Ray is fondly called) never thought of directing a film on Shonku as the technology required for making a movie of that scale was not available here during that time,” Chatterjee told PTI on Thursday. The 74-year old actor, who has worked in Ray’s films ‘Pratidwandi’, ‘Agantuk’ and ‘Ganashatru’, said he would place the director at the top as a writer. “I have read several Prof Shonku stories and other literary works of Manikda. I would place him right at the top as a writer. He had a fertile imagination and penned several stories for children, which were read by people of all ages,” he said.
Chatterjee said Satyajit Ray’s literary works are popular outside West Bengal as many Feluda and Shonku stories were translated into English. The actor, who has also worked with filmmakers like Mrinal Sen, Aparna Sen and Deepa Mehta, refused to draw comparisons between the directorial styles of Satyajit Ray and his son.
“I did not have a point of reference while readying myself for the role of Prof Shonku. I went by the brief of the director and my own understanding of the character,” he said. The ‘Padatik’ actor said based on the film’s reception, a movie series on Professor Shonku may be planned. Chatterjee recalled how he was caught in a storm while shooting for the film in a creek in Amazon forest in 2018. “I think ‘Professor Shonku O Eldorado’ has a Bengaliness that gels well with its global approach. Hope it clicks with the audience,” the actor of ‘Kahaani’ and ‘Black’ movies added.