Tagore's poems in theatres soon


By Hindustan Times

New Delhi, July 31 -- National Award-winning director Buddhadeb Dasgupta has been approached by the cultural department of the Govern-ment of India, through NFDC, to bring to celluloid, 12 of Rabindranath Tagore's poems on the occasion of his 150th birth centenary. Through real and surreal images, creative use of music, sound montage and minimal dialogue, a three-part series is being designed by the internationally acclaimed maker of films like Tahader Katha (1993), Uttara (2000) and Kalpurush (2008).

"Each short film will be about 20-30 minutes long, and four of them will be packaged into one film. The first one should be in theatres by the year-end," says Dasgupta, ruing the fact that after the initial hype, several projects centered around the Nobel laureate are stuck. "There are a few happening outside Bengal, which is why I've decided to make this project in Hindi, with English subtitles, to extend its reach. Tagore is a favourite not just in the US and Europe, but in China too.

In India, only a few people in the 20-30 age bracket have been exposed to his works but despite this, I see an interest in Maharashtra and Kerala."

He insists that none of the original poems, in Bengali or in Hindi translations, will be recited in the films. And since the themes are timeless, he plans to set the films in real time and in universal locations so that they don't look dated or shockingly contemporary. "I'd like to reinterpret Tagore and subtly bring out edges in my own style," says Dasgupta, who has himself published many works of poetry.

The selected poems to be featured in the films include Banshi (The Flute), Ek Gaye (A Village), Krishnakali (The Dark Maiden), Mukti (The Freedom), Phukhur Dhare (From The Poolside) and And Hotrat Dekha (The Unexpected Meeting), among others.

"Krishnakali has to be filmed at the end of August because the poem talks of a cloudy sky in a remote village... Maybe Birbhum." About the cast, he says, "I don't want big names and definitely not busy artists. Maybe Nandita Das (above) and Deepti Naval. I should be more clear by November."