23 Nov 2022  |   05:16am IST

‘Absolute obsession’ with Satyajit Ray led to making of ‘The Story teller’

Noted actor-director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan’s obsession with Oscar-winning legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray led him to make a film, ‘The Story Teller’, based on a short story by Satyajit Ray
‘Absolute obsession’ with Satyajit Ray led to making of ‘The Story teller’

Shashwat Gupta Ray


hile the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI 2022) is showcasing Satyajit Ray’s films under ‘Retrospectives’ section, at the same time a Hindi feature film ‘The Story Teller’ was premiered in India for the first time here at the ongoing 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

The movie is based on Ray’s story ‘Golpo Boliye Tarini Khuro’. The story revolves around an unpublished Bengali storyteller (Paresh Rawal) who answers a help ad from a Gujarati businessman (Adil Hussain) who suffers from insomnia, and as the film nears its climax, there is an unexpected development. The film also stars veteran actress Revathy and Tannishtha Chatterjee in key roles amongst others.

“It must have been a moment of madness and absolute obsession with Ray’s films that led me towards making this film. I followed it up with almost fanatic enthusiasm and I was lucky to get my producers because ultimately, I have realised that the director is a mere tool to present a film. If the supporting crew, the technician and the producers aren’t there you don’t get the right structure,” Mahadevan said.

He thanked the supporting crew and the producers for backing the film. “I would like to thank Quest Entertainment (founded by producers Suchchanda Chatterjee and Shubha Shetty), Purpose Entertainment and Jio for believing in the film and making it possible,” Mahadevan said. He said that the driving force for this film was the creative obsession to make a cinema that speaks in an international language.

Veteran actor Paresh Rawal says his upcoming movie ‘The Storyteller’ is a special project for him as it is based on a story by master filmmaker Satyajit Ray. “In my acting career, I have had very few subjects of this nature. So, whenever they have come my way, I have worked with full vigour. But I am fortunate that I got a director like Ananth Mahadevan, got a very good script and wonderful co-artistes. I was only worried about my Bengali diction and I would always ask my Bengali co-actors, whether it was correct or not,” Rawal said. He also expressed his happiness to have worked in a film based on Ray’s story, because he always wanted to work the master film maker.

“I have seen almost all the films he has made. I always wanted to work with a master like Satyajit Ray but unfortunately could not. But as luck would have it, I have done a film based on a story written by the master himself. Since I got an opportunity to fulfil my desire to work on a film associated with Ray, I wanted to give my everything in the movie,” added Rawal.

Adil Hussein said that all the challenges were faced by the director (Mahadevan), he just delivered the lines convincingly, as desired by him. “With Pareshji on the other side, you don’t need to act. You just look at him and respond. It just makes your work easier. I am thankful to the makers for considering me for this film,” he said.

Thanking the IFFI for screening the film in this festival, actress Tannishtha Chatterjee said that the IFFI has dedicated a special segment to Satyajit Ray’s films. “It is a great co-incidence that our film has also premiered at the same time. We thank IFFI for screening our film,” she said.

Later interacting with Mahadevan, veteran actor Nana Patekar, who was in the audience to watch film, heaped his praise on Mahadevan and that he liked the film so much that he sat through the entire film. “Generally, I don’t sit through a for long. But your film was engrossing that I sat through the entire duration. It’s a very well made film,” Patekar was heard telling Mahadevan.


Iddhar Udhar