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Book Review: Patol Babu (The Filmmaker) by Satyajit Ray

It is a short story based around Patol Babu who during the time of his youth took great interest in acting and theater but it couldn’t be converted into great success. While young Patol Babu has great good days when he was working with the railway and at the same time attended stages and theaters for acting. He grew famous and words are that people from different places came to see him. However, when he lost his job, the financial restrain put a halt on his acting passion. To revive it, he tried to get back into money making business by opening a variety store, but all in vain.


Today, Patol Babu is over fifty two years of old and left his acting career far behind. Sometimes, he sits down and takes a walk to the memory lane with his wife. He remembers those days of theaters and acting and tries to make up for his emotional loss by the memories.

Well, one day he is approached by his neighbor Nilkanto Ghosh who informs him about a role of an absent-minded pedestrian in a film. Nilkanto Ghosh’s brother-in-law Naresh Dutta works with the film makers. Next morning Naresh sees Patol and explains him about the role and remuneration. To his surprise, the role is of speaking one.

On the decided day, Patol Babu reaches the venue sharp on time wearing a woolen jacket on a sunny day as part of his costume. Patol Babu sees a lot of crowd and cars around the set and people working and running here and there on the set. He realizes the amount of hard work needed behind the movie-making. Naresh Dutta approaches him and explains his role and in speaking part Patol has to say only the word “Oh” after being collided with the lead actor Chanchal Kumar. Patol, initially, feels disappointed with only one word dialogue. However, an old advice from the theatre days helps him to be sane. When he requests to do some rehearsal, he is denied. He then rehearses alone in one of the shaded corners of the street.

At the scene, he delivers it perfectly and people on the set applauded it. Naresh Dutta tells him to wait till the shooting is finished for his remuneration. The scene was done so perfectly that he takes the applause as his main remuneration and leaves the set even before getting paid for it.

Conclusion:
An artist never works for money. His main fame and remuneration is to collect praise for his work. The love for his acting passion was great than the money and it is good to see that Patol even after twenty years didn’t forget the acting. In his acting he sounded so real that even the hero of the movie praised him.

Comments

  1. I remember these story . These is the same story we had in our English textbook. Thankyou for sharing it. Reminiscing the school memories.��

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