Veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee, who died in Kolkata on November 15, had completed shooting for a biopic on himself title Abhijaan. But a documentary based on his life remained incomplete. Soumitra Chatterjee had completed shooting for a portion of the film before the government imposed nationwide lockdown in the country due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, soon after the Centre announced a few relaxations in Covid-19 guidelines, the actor resumed filming for Abhijaan and completed shooting for the remaining portions. “He was his usual self during the shoots. His dedication and involvement were enviable,” PTI quoted a source as saying. The biopic based on his life is being helmed by actor-director Parambrata Chatterjee.
Apart from the biopic, a documentary based on the life of the legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee was in the making when he tested postive for Covid-19. The actor was interviewed by filmmakers Atanu Ghosh and Sandip Ray for a portion of the documentary around his film career. Another interview was scheduled for October 7 for interviewing him on the literary part of the documentary, but just before that, he was admitted to the hospital owing to his coronavirus diagnosis. “He was so agile and mentally alert on September 30. He showed no discomfort during the shoots which went on for hours. Never imagined he will be leaving us so soon,” Sandip Ray told PTI.
Soumitra Chatterjee tested positive for the novel coronavirus on October 6. He was admitted to Bellevue Nursing Home in Kolkata. Though the actor tested negative for the virus within a few days, he was under the supervision of a team of doctors in the hospital because he was suffering from secondary infections due to virus repercussions. The actor’s condition worsened in the last few days. An official statement was released to confirm the death of the actor on November 15. “We declare with heavy heart that Shri Soumitra Chattopadhyay breathed his last at 12-15 pm at Belle Vue Clinic today (15 November 2020). We pay our homage to his soul,” the statement read.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed heartfelt condolence in a tweet after the news of Soumitra Chatterjee’s demise was announced. “Shri Soumitra Chatterjee’s death is a colossal loss to the world of cinema, cultural life of West Bengal and India. Through his works, he came to embody Bengali sensibilities, emotions and ethos. Anguished by his demise. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”
“Feluda’ is no more. ‘Apu’ said goodbye. Farewell, Soumitra (Da) Chatterjee. He has been a legend in his lifetime. International, Indian and Bengali cinema has lost a giant. We will miss him dearly. The film world in Bengal has been orphaned,” read a part of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s tweet.
“Best known for his films with Satyajit Ray, Soumitra Da was conferred with Legion of Honor, Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Banga Bibhushan, Padma Bhushan & several National Awards. A great loss. Saddened. Condolences to his family, the film fraternity & his admirers across the world,” she added.
Soumitra Chatterjee is best known for his collaboration with legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray. He featured in several path breaking films like Apur Sansar, Charulata, Ghare Baire and Aparajito. Soumitra Chatterjee has won several accolades for his contribution to world cinema, including the Dada Saheb Phalke Award and Padma Bhushan Award.