The Man Who Would Be King

How an actor’s never-ending quest for the perfect role produced a lifetime’s worth of great cinema

01 July 2012

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1959. APUR SANSAR. A man in his early 20s, a loner and drifter, a struggling writer, a reluctant father and a fretful widower, finally finds home in his estranged little son. His departure into the horizon with his son on his shoulders is also the moment which marks his arrival on the scene.

2011. Raja Lear. An elderly man in long black robes, unkempt hair and flowing white beard lies motionless and still, death relieving him at last of rage and dementia while his cry—“Who is it that can tell me who I am”—rises up in the air, daggers it into slices and pirouettes into the atmosphere beyond.

Sayandeb Chowdhury is Assistant Professor of English, Ambedkar University, Delhi.

Keywords: cinema artist Soumitra Chatterjee Indian cinema Sayandeb Chowdhury