Chaturanga, based on the book by
Rabindranath Tagore, is Suman Mukhopadhyay's second
feature film. In 2005, Suman completed his first feature
film, Herbert, based on a novel by Nabarun Bhattacharya.
The film was given the National Award for Best Regional
Film. He has also been conferred with awards like the
Most Promising Director (BFJA), Best Debut Director (Lankesh
Award) and Audience Award in the Dhaka International
Film Festival. Herbert has been screened in a number of
national and international film festivals including
Cannes, Florence, Bangkok, Osian Cinefan, Zanzibar,
Mumbai, Pune and Kerala. Suman has done his film
training from the New York Film Academy, USA. He is
currently scripting 'The Hungry Tide,' based on the
novel by Amitav Ghosh.
Suman is also one of the best young theater directors
working in India at present, having done productions
ranging from European drama to major adaptations of
more information on Suman Mukhopadhyay website.
Since my university days, the novel
has been provoking me, disturbing me.
Chaturanga deals with questions,
which are contemporary and timeless. It interrogates our
perception of the human evolution. Chaturanga does not
provide a single reference to the contemporary political
situation. I believe that Rabindranath was trying to
address deeper concerns regarding human ethos and codes
of our existence. In the film, protagonist Sachish
metamorphoses from a staunch rationalist to a devout
Nonetheless, there is an immense
reversal in Sachish's viewpoint at the end of the film.
We, as social beings, have tried to solve all our moral,
social and political dilemmas in accordance to the model
of diametric opposites. East-West, Left-Right,
Normal-Abnormal, Discipline-Punish for example.
Rabindranath himself, at one point of time, was a victim
of the similar ideological closures. Nevertheless,
Rabindranath undertook many journeys in his life,
journeys that allowed him to transcend his previous
We have shamefully observed the
disasters of experimentations with human beings. In our
archeology of knowledge, we have seen the quest of human
mind to attain an order through religion or benevolence
or coercion or moderation or collectivism. We are yet to
reach any durable 'resolution.' Nevertheless, any
attempt to harness the spirit of human nature, any
effort to negate the undefined areas of our inner world
only reveals the holes in the ideological models.
Therefore, Chaturanga proposes an unending journey,