Happy Birthday Prosenjit Chatterjee: From Moner Manush to Shanghai, Here's Looking at His Top 5 Performances
Prosenjit Chatterjee has done it all. From churning out commercial blockbusters filled with action and drama to breaking away from the same potboilers to enact in offbeat cinema, the actor’s repertoire is filled with varying roles.
Often considered as the biggest star of the present generation in the Bengali movie industry, Prosenjit Chatterjee turns 58 today (September 30). The actor is the closest to Uttam Kumar in terms of claiming the tag of a superstar and has achieved a great balance between “art” and “commercial” films. Here is a look at some of his most memorable performances.
Written by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay and directed by the late Rituparno Ghosh, this movie tests Prosenjit’s prowess as an actor as he is left without any dialogue or movement for the majority of the film which shows him recovering from a grave accident. The movie starred Konkona Sen Sharma as the female lead and the wife of Prosenjit’s character. The movie dealt with simple yet webbed human relationships as Prosenjit is left at his wife’s care, the same woman whom he cheated on with someone else.
Moner Manush (2010)
The biographical musical drama sees Prosenjit portray the life of Lalon, a noted spiritual leader, who forms a cult called Baul. Directed by Goutam Ghose, the movie saw the commercial star leave his stardom behind and take up the role of a saint who has several humane features. It had also won the Best Film award at the 41st International Film Festival of India in Goa.
The 2012 political thriller was co written, co-produced and directed by Dibakar Banerjee. Starring Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol and Kalki Koechlin in the lead roles, Prosenjit had a small role to explore. He plays a social activist who is killed off mysteriously. Though the government version wraps the incident as an accident, a group of people dig deep to find out the truth. It is based on the Greek novel "Z" by Vassilis Vassilikos. Prosenjit won the Stardust Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role.
A massive hit in the domain of Bengali cinema, the movie also solidified the position of debutant director Srijit Mukherji in the industry. The movie was a tribute to Satyajit Ray's 1966 film Nayak where Bengali actor Uttam Kumar had portrayed the titular role. To dare to don the shoes worn by Kumar is a big feat in itself; additionally Prosenjit managed to bring his personal grit to the act as well.
Chokher Bali (2003)
The story is a masterpiece, given that it is based upon the 1903 novel of the same name by Rabindranath Tagore. The film achieves its additional shine with the direction of Rituparno Ghosh and the perfect casting choice with Aishwarya Rai (Binodini), Raima Sen (Ashalata), Tota Roy Chowdhury (Behari) and Prosenjit (Mahendra) in the lead. The movie bagged the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali that year. Prosenjit’s Mahendra is portayed as a man who despite having a family enters into an extra-marital relationship with a widow (Binodini) who has been sheltered in their home.