Kolkata’s director Goutam Ghose still regrets not being able to direct Uttam Kumar when he had the chance. The National Award-winning director was supposed to make a film based on Samaresh Basu’s story ‘Srimati Cafe’ and had even convinced the Mahanayak to play the lead. But when Goutam was getting ready to start shooting Uttam Kumar left us for the heavenly abode creating a huge void in Bengali cinema. After Uttam Kumar’s demise, Goutam decided not to make the film which could have been his second film after making his directorial debut with a Telugu film ‘Maa Bhoomi’, reports Times of India.
“I had planned for the film even before ‘Maa Bhoomi’. In fact, I spoke to Samaresh Basu about Srimati Cafe long before making the Telugu film. I had the permission from Samaresh Basu for the cinematic adaptation of such an interesting novel. The script was also ready. I wanted to cast Uttam Kumar in Bhojonananda Talukdar’s character. The character was popular as Bhoju Laat who was the owner of a cafe. Uttam babu was so happy when I offered him the role. He even said young filmmakers like me should come forward for the betterment of Bengali cinema as it needed young blood to make a change. I was so excited and started working on the film with all my enthusiasm,” shared an emotional Goutam Ghose.
“Everything was planned accordingly and the pre-production was going smoothly. Then ‘Maa Bhoomi’ got released and it was super hit. I went to Hyderabad for the film’s 200-day celebration. On my birthday, I called at home from there amid all the celebrations and what I heard from my mother left me speechless. I was shell-shocked to hear Uttam Kumar is no more. Believe me, it still pains me to see that Uttam Kumar’s death anniversary and my birthday fall on the same date,” adds the acclaimed director.