Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s films are poetry in motion: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

Kolkata : His films have taken a special place among the audience. His film ‘Rang De Basanti’ remains the favourite of millions. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, one of the classic directors of Indian cinema, shared his thoughts on legend Buddhadeb Dasgupta with an exclusive tete-a-tete with UNI.

Here are the excerpts:

1) Did Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s film affected your thoughts in any way?

Rakeysh: Dada left us at the age of 77. I am now 57. He was much older than me. I will say, not only me but the entire generation of my contemporaries may have been inspired by his work in one way or another. I must say, it applies not only to the Indian filmmakers, but the filmmakers all over the world. It’s not like mathematics i.e. 2 plus 2 is equal to 4. Many times subconsciously his films have influenced all our works. He was a real master of cinema.

2) How do you got Introduced to the name of Buddhadeb Dasgupta?

Rakeysh: I have been introduced to him through ‘Bagh Bahadur’. Watching this film makes me spellbound. I was surprised to think that how a film could be like this? I always think ‘art’ is larger than anything. It’s great when a legend like Buddhadeb Dasgupta comes into the filmmaking and leaves an indelible mark.

3) What do you think is the USP of Dasgupta film that earned him too many International recognitions?

Rakeysh: I think, when you’re true to yourself, your country and your region; that is what makes a true World Cinema. Instead of being a copycat or looking for what’s happening in Hollywood or Bollywood; his works remains original. He told the Indian stories to the world in a way that only he could tell. Take any frame of Dada’s film. You will understand that it is his film. You would think that there is no other filmmaker in the world who could show this in such artistic way. This is the hallmark of a genius, the signature of an original artist.

4) How will you describe a Buddhadeb Dasgupta film?

Rakeysh: I think his films are poetry in motion. Everyone says that, since he was a poet, there was a lyricism in his films. When we watch his films, it seems like we are not listening but watching a poem. That’s how his craft was. That’s how he told the story.

5) Dasgupta was a very positive person. He has highlighted a lot of problems through his films and has shown solutions too. We also get positive messages through your films Do you think it is very important to give a positive message?

Rakeysh: I don’t think filmmaking is about giving a message. I think filmmaking is all about telling a story. When Dada showed a problem in his film in a very soft way, it is not always that soft. I would rather say, it is the hallmark of a fearless person, who feared nobody. He kept stretching it film after film. He was so positive about his talent. I must say that his positivity inspires a lot.

Dada used to try something new in every film. That’s why he never even repeated himself too.

6) There has been a flurry of OTT platforms today. But Dasgupta did not get that opportunity. Do you think it would be beneficial to bring his films to the OTT platform?

Rakeysh: For a master like dada, I can’t say this. If I say this, I will be belittling his contribution to cinema. Just like we have evolved from silent film to our talking film, from black-and-white to colour, from VHS to today’s satellite. But these are all mediums. OTT too is a medium, not the film. Yes, in the digital world the reach of the film has become huge. But, when we talk about a passionate master like Buddhadeb Dasgupta, we do not talk about the profit and loss rather we talk about the contribution. Any platform, whether it’s OTT or anything, the platform itself will be beneficial. We always stayed greedy for more from a master like him. But what he left behind, I think not just for this lifetime but also are the assets for the times to come.