Jeevan Smriti – A Review
Disclaimer: This post was first published on Tehelka.
When Rituparno Ghosh was once asked which protagonist from his films he identified with the most, he had promptly responded naming Binodini from Chokher Bali. Although that film was his first directorial venture on Tagore’s work, Rituparno’s association with the bard goes long back, to his childhood days. Needless to say, Jeevan Smriti: Selected Memories, his docu-feature on the poet was bound to be quite different from any other documentaries made on the first Nobel laureate from India.
Throughout his life, and even in his death, Rituparno refused to play by the rules, creating new definitions of cinema with every film he made. By entering into Tagore’s personal space, almost like a voyeur in some scenes, Ghosh reinforces his uncanny style of filmmaking. Present throughout Jeevan Smriti as a passive observer, sometimes doubling up as a participant in the hustle-bustle of the activities at Jorasanko, the director effortlessly establishes himself as a member of the Tagore household. Ghosh easily builds an intimacy with Tagore, doing away with the distance one creates by putting the poet on a pulpit, akin to God.
Rituparno’s Tagore is like a mythical king who traverses alone, in disguise, among his subjects. Tagore, in this film is a seeker of the mystery of life in its sensuous form. His aura is complemented with the sobriety of his loneliness – one that produces music, paintings, literature and philosophy. Here Rabindranath Tagore stands out like a philosopher-king who is molten and made in the hearth of life.
To read more, check: Jeevan Smriti – A Life Of Memories
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