Book review: A heartfelt tribute to Satyajit Ray
Shoma’s 'Ray' is a tribute, attempting to offer a vision of the filmmaker’s amazing gift of forever confronting and overcoming the challenge of change and championing a lietmotif reflecting truths
“Oh God, not yet another book on Ray, for chrissake!” can well be the reaction of over-saturated readers of Ray bio’s, anthologies etc, who swear by the seminal and authoritative work done by such celebrated names as Marie Seaton, Chidananda Das Gupta, Andrew Robinson & their ilk. However, to readers, Ray-devotees with a broader vision, the creator of the magical Apu Trilogy and his multi-faceted genius, is like an ocean. The more you explore, the more you discover.
Dr. Shoma Chatterjee – film scholar, author & respected film journo who’s been on the jury of national and international film festivals and presented papers at various conferences across the globe on Indian Cinema and Gender studies – enters this space with total clarity & credibility. Sathya Saran - in her foreward –is spot-on when she says that “Shoma belongs to that school of authors who stop, look, see, ponder and share.” Her critical gaze engagingly, informatively and insightfully categorises Ray’s oeuvre under The Hunger Trilogy, Masculinity, Feminity, Music & The Man, The Enigma – an approach never ever attempted!
Enough has been said about Ray’s films across the decades, but the fact is that diversity, in the hands of the maestro, is never disruptive, has fascinating stories to tell, touching every aspect of human existence. Shoma’s RAY is a break-out tribute, attempting to offer (through observation and analysis) a vision of India’s tallest film-maker’s amazing gift of forever confronting and overcoming the challenge of change and championing a lietmotif reflecting human, universal truths celebrating the classic axiom: local roots, global perspective.
'RAY...' hence, is a must-read for all Ray admirers keen to journey into the heart of the great man’s every single movie.