Argentinean film Director and producer Pablo Cesar and Indian Co-producer Suraj Kumar’s feature film “Thinking of Him” was released in Argentina in the month of August 2018 and in India, it is going to be released in the month of September 2019. In incoming days, this will also be released in Bangla, French, and Spanish with English subtitles.
Even before the release in India, this film has been successful in recording its presence in various international film festivals. The film was selected for the spiritual film category at the 17th International Dhaka Film Festival, which was held from January 10-18, 2018. In the year 2017, the film was selected for the closing ceremony of the film festival in India’s 48th International Film Festival, which was held in Goa. Apart from this, the film was also selected in the competition section for Best Dress in 58th Asian Film Festival, Taiwan, 2018 and Latin American Film Festival 2018. Honourable President of India Ram Nath Kovind has also mentioned about the film “Thinking of Him” in his address. This happened when Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri met the Honourable President of India on February 18, 2019. Argentina’s President Macri had come to India for attending the 70th year of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between India and Argentina.
Interestingly, Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore is still a source of inspiration for many including filmmakers. A few films have already been made on the love affair of Rabindranath Tagore. By the help of films “Chiroshakha He” (2007) and “Kadambari” (2015), filmmakers have discovered Tagore’s relationship with his sister-in-law, Kadambari Devi. “Thinking of Him” also explores Tagore’s relationship with Argentinean writer, editor, and activist Victoria Ocampo.
In this film, Victor Banerjee played the role of Ravindra nath Tagore and Argentinean actress Eleonora Wexler played the role of Victoria Ocampo. Cesar initially wanted to cast Naseeruddin Shah as Tagore and even considered approaching Amitabh Bachchan.
Raima Sen is in the role of Kamli, a student of Visva-Bharati and Felix, a theater and film actor Hector Bordoni from Argentina played the role of a teacher of Visva-Bharati. Kamli is his student. Earlier, Felix taught jail inmates in Argentina. He has some psychological problems. Kamli helps him during his stay at the Santi Niketan from getting rid of stress. In this period, a relationship develops between them. Perhaps for this reason, departing from Santi Niketan, Felix gets emotional. Thus, two love stories run simultaneously in the film — the first between Rabindranath Tagore and Victoria Ocampo and the other between Felix and Kamli. However, the main story of the film revolved around Rabindranath Tagore and Victoria Ocampo.
“Thinking of Him” has been shot in India and Argentina. In India, it has been shot in Shanti Niketan and a place called Jorosanko in north Kolkata, while in San Aguero in Argentina, which is located 35 kilometers from Buenos Aires. This is the place where Rabindranath Tagore met Victoria Ocampo in 1924. When Victoria finds out that Tagore is in the city for a short time, he immediately takes time to meet Tagore’s secretary. However, due to Tagore’s tiredness, a short meeting could be made. Later, Victoria arranges to stay arrangement for Tagore at her cousin’s house which was situated on the bank of the river.
Rabindranath Tagore had a tremendous influence on the life of Victoria. Victoria was first impressed by Tagore by reading the French translation of Gitanjali. Later, Victoria also read the other works of Tagore, thereby her fascination for him increased tremendously. Tagore was also influenced by Victoria. It is said that only after coming in contact with Victoria, Tagore started painting. With the efforts of Victoria, Tagore’s painting exhibition was organised in Paris in 1930. Tagore and Victoria met twice, but the relationship between the two remained from 1924 to 1941. In the last 10 years of Tagore’s life, there was no meeting between the two. Nevertheless, they were connected to each other. After Tagore’s death, Victoria writes a line “Thinking of Him” in his letter addressed to his son Rathindra nath. The title of the movie has been taken from the same line as described in the letter. After Victoria’s death in 1979, her house was converted into “Rabindranath Tagore Memorial”.
Tagore was originally a poet, writer, painter, singer, musician, social reformer, thinker, and philosopher. Therefore, in addition to the pleasant relations between Tagore and Victoria, Tagore’s views and concerns in the context of education, rural reconstruction, humanity etc. has also been included in the film to understand Tagore’s life and his attitude towards society. In nutshell, “Thinking of Him” is a synopsis of two stories of innocent romance intertwines over time.
By Satish Singh
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