Coming soon: A new Feluda film
Satyajit Ray’s Feluda, Bengal’s best-loved detective, will return to the silver screen soon. Sandip Ray, the son of India’s only Oscar-winning film director Satyajit Ray, plans to base his next movie on the popular Feluda story Gorosthaney Sabdhan (Caution in the Graveyard).
Pradosh Chandra Mitter, better known as Feluda, is a young, keen-eyed detective who in 1965 made his appearance in Sandesh, a Bengali children’s magazine, with Feluda-r Goendagiri.
Based in Kolkata, Feluda – he with the fondness for Charminar cigarettes, betel leaves, yoga, reading and travelling – prefers to use his immense brain power instead of muscle power to fight crime and solve mysteries. Along with Topshe (his nephew) and Lalmohan Ganguly (Jatayu, the best-selling writer of crime novels), Feluda solves mysteries that confound everyone – even the police.
Satyajit Ray loved writing and making films for children. His easy to read, crisp stories – he wrote 35 Feluda stories – remain a favorite with readers of all ages. The relationship between Feluda and Topshe is like that between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson – Topshe learns by being around Feluda; Feluda bounces his thoughts off Topshe to set off a chain of logical thinking before the denouement. “The Three Musketeers” – as named by Lalmohan Babu – embark on journeys in India and abroad to bring criminals to book.
Speaking about his new movie project, Sandip Ray said shooting of the Gorosthaney Sabdhan film will begin in June 2010. No other details have emerged yet, but we’ll keep you posted on who’s playing the crime fighter.
Gorosthaney Sabdhan – one of the most popular stories in the Feluda series – deals with the colorful case of the Godwins, an old Calcutta-based family. Why has the grave of Thomas Godwin, dead and gone for many years, been dug up? The Three Musketeers unravel the puzzle over the course of a few days. During this time, they end up discovering unknown facets of their city. The old Calcutta, the capital of British India, and the history of the city play an important role in the story.
Other Feluda stories that have been adapted into movies are Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress), Jai Baba Felunath (The Elephant God), Bombay er Bombete (Buccaneers of Bombay), Koilash-e Kelenkari (Chaos In Kailash) and Tintorettor Jishu (Tintoretto’s Jesus). Sonar Kella and Jai Baba Felunath were directed by Satyajit Ray; the other three films were directed by Sandip Ray.
Several other Feluda stories have also been made into television serials.
Sandip Ray also wants to bring Professor Shonku, his father’s famous science fiction character, alive on screen. He said he plans to direct a film based on Professor Shonku’s expedition in two years.
The books on Professor Shonku include Byomjatrir Diary, followed by Professor Shonku o Harh, Professor Shonku o Macaw, Professor Shonku o Egyptio Aatonko and Professor Shonku o Chi Ching.
Sandip Ray, who started his career at 22 as assistant director on his father’s film Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977), debuted as a director with Phatik Chand (1983). A noted photographer, he worked as director of photography on Satyajit Ray’s last three films – Ganashatru (An Enemy of the People, 1988), Shakha Proshakha (The Branches of the Tree, 1991) and Agantuk (The Visitor, 1991).
He also guided the children’s magazine Sandesh, founded by his great-grandfather Upendrakishore Ray, and continued by his grandfather Sukumar Ray and his father Satyajit Ray. He continues to be the editor of Sandesh.
In 2003, Sandip Ray began working on adapting Satyajit Ray’s 1962 story Bankhubabur Bandhu into a Bengali television film. Directed by Koushik Sen, the film was aired on TV in 2006.
He recently penned Aami aar Feluda, an account of his time growing up around the detective.
Meanwhile, Disney channel has acquired The Kathmandu Caper – the first-ever animated TV movie based on Satyajit Ray’s detective series – from Kolkata-based DQ Entertainment. The 60-minute TV movie takes Feluda, Topshe and Lalmohan babu to Nepal to solve a series of mysterious crop failures.