Rituparno Ghosh that brought back the focus on the Bengali middle class says director Madhur Bhandarkar. Excerpts

You don’t need to hold guns to be a revolutionary or change the society. Ritudaparno Ghosh was a filmmaker and his films did all the revolutionary work. His demise is a major loss to films and the society. Can’t even say too soon for his death… because revolutionaries should be immortal!

It was RituDa’s cinema that brought back the focus on the Bengali middle class. And while he did this, he wasn’t known as a regional cinema director (unfortunately, which happens with a lot of talented filmmakers in regional cinema). He was the Indian filmmaker with brilliant contributions to our 100 years of Hindi films. I have had the good fortune of meeting RituDa on a couple of occasions in the past.

He was always very warm, humble, with a great sense of humour and what vision for cinema. We always discussed films. I still remember our chat on world cinema and where we might be lacking. And now to think that I won’t have these chance meeting anymore with him! I am shocked and still want someone to tell me it is a bad joke.

I loved his films and how he mastered the art of understanding the characters of his films. His interplay of relations, portrayal of women was very evolved. He used to be very encouraging in our conversations. In 2006 we had met in Vigyan Bhawan, Delhi. I had got the National Award for Page 3 and he for Raincoat. I remember him tell me, “Make the cinema that is yours.”

I am happy that in my lifetime, I got to meet RituDa and watch his cinema. His films like Dahan, Utsab, Titli, Chokher Bali, Raincoat, Antarmahal, Khel, Sunglass and more will always be remembered as great work in Indian cinema. The way he made his actor act was very interesting to watch. I can never forget Kiron Kher’s National Award winning performance in Bariwali. To portray a lonely spinster and her desires in that time was never spoken so beautifully before. Even Chokher Bali, based on Tagore’s novel, was bold for the simple middle class society audiences. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s performance as Binodini was a delight to watch. And how can one forget the black and white film he made, Dosor. Konkona Sen Sharma and Prosenjit’s performance, the subject of illicit affair and the film shot in black and white… shouldn’t this be the high a film lover should be on!

There were many more subjects that RituDa wanted to make films on. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to see them now. But what he has left behind is a very rich legacy for Indian cinema. This inspiring filmmaker will stand tall for generations to come through his films for a very long time. RIP Ritudaparno Ghosh! My dear friend, you will be missed and how!

Love Always,

Madhur