Renowned filmmaker Ismail Merchant is to make a movie about India's most famous poet, Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore, the Bengali actor selected for the part said yesterday, according to Gulf Daily News.
"I have been offered the role of Tagore and am looking forward to it as I have never played a real-life person before," popular actor Soumitra Chatterjee said.
He said that Merchant was planning a film on Tagore's long association with the French intellectual Romain Rolland - who also won a Nobel Prize for literature - that began in 1919.
Shooting on the as yet untitled film would begin in December next year.
Merchant is one of the partners of Merchant Ivory Productions, which has produced acclaimed movies such as A Room with a View, and Howard's End.
Recently he produced The Mystic Masseur, a film based on a novel written by this year's Nobel Prize winning author V S Naipaul.
The movie is currently showing in Calcutta.
Chatterjee has acted in several movies made by India's Oscar-winning filmmaker Satyajit Ray.
He said that depicting Tagore would be one of the most challenging roles of his career, as the poet remains a literary icon in India 60 years after his death in 1941. "I would give it my best shot," he said.
Tagore's collection of poems, Gitanjali, won him the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913.
In March, Chatterjee created a stir when he declined to accept an award from India's information and broadcasting ministry for his role as a blind poet in the Bengali film Dekha (To See), alleging the prize-selection process was flawed – Albawaba.com
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