Recently, one of the most discussed topics was Netflix’s tribute to film maestro Satyajit Ray in their mini web-series Ray. Though the series had a big platform attached to its name, with celebrated directors Srijit Mukherjee, Abhishek Chaubey and Vasan Bala, the series received negative reactions from Ray’s fans. Many followers of Ray did not take well the unnecessary twisting and turning of the plots in the series. Netizens even started creating memes on it.
The adaptation of Ray’s four short stories was twisted and turned in such a way that it killed the innocence of the stories. If I take the first story ‘Forget Me Not’, it is based on Bipin Choudhuryr Smritibhram, in which a childhood friend of Bipin takes sweet revenge on him by creating an imaginative story to shake his confidence on his own memory. Here, the story becomes the revenge-tragedy of a mother from the irresponsible father of her child who made her abort it.
Even ‛Hungama Kiyun Hain Burpa’, the adaptation of Barin Bhoumik er Byaram, received fewer negative reactions, but despite a stellar performance of actors Manoj Bajpai and Gajraj Rao, I found it unwatchable after 10 minutes. The same applies to the other two stories also. It was a great initiative to pay Satyajit Ray a tribute, but the makers needed to be more careful while writing the screenplays as a lot of readers had Himalayan expectations from the adaptations, especially from Srijit after their great adaptation of Feluda for Addatimes.
Finally, my observation for this series is that it had immense potential as the makers are talented and the stories are well-written almost in the form of screenplays, but the limitless expectation made it less successful. The reader and viewer also need to understand that books and screens are not the same. The treatment of the story needs to be different for different mediums. Cracking memes and jokes are okay, but this huge negative criticism will lead us to watch Ray’s stories directed by Sandip Ray again, which will close a door recently open. Let’s hope for the best and look forward to more such works with better execution and more realistic expectations.