The controversy over Feluda's story began with the recent release of the trailer for the first season of Srijit Mukherjee’s web series, ‘Feluda Ferot’
In a society filled with instant news where anyone with an internet connection can publish an opinion, freedom of creation faces a ‘neo- normal’ censorship. The recent demise of ‘The Feluda’ has possibly acted as a catalyst in the creation of a bonfire of criticism which soon spread in the forest.
The controversy over Feluda's story began with the recent release of the trailer for the first season of Srijit Mukherjee’s web series, ‘Feluda Ferot’. In the trailer of 'Chhinna mastar Abhishap', the credit card displayed “written and directed by Srijit Mukherjee”. Immediately after release, it faced a strong resistance by the Feluda Fans on social media. A part of the netizens stimulated a protest against the writing on the card by claiming that the story is originally written by Satyajit Ray. The trailer however also mentioned “Based on a story by Satyajit Ray” which was possibly ignored consciously.
The synonymous duo-- controversy and Srijit has remained consistent in the OTT platform as well. The potential whirlpool was set out by the immediate change in the writing within a day. The new credit line says, “Screenplay, Dialogue & Direction by Srijit Mukherjee”.
With following memes and comments the cybernauts see it as their victory of retaining the purity of the larger than life creation. They also call it a publicity stunt by the director and the promoters to hype up the viewership of the series. As much as the creative heads considered the online platform as a space of experimentation, the new form of censorship has created an interesting curve.
Another group claims that the story has to be arranged in the process of making the series. In that case and thus “written and directed by Srijit” is valid by all means. Srijit tweeted similar words in his defense. Giving examples with screenshots he mentioned that Satyajit Ray and Rituparno Ghosh who created films from Rabindra sahitya, called themselves as writers as well.The last line of the defense note however hints to a troll back to the audience where he writes– “A surprisingly high % of people are blissfully unaware that 'written' in film credits is synonymous with screenplay & dialogues if the story is separately credited. Hence we've re-uploaded the trailer of #FeludaPherot to avoid unnecessary & ignorance-fuelled confusion. Enjoy!” Another round of controversy was sprouting but the post was removed from the Facebook page shortly after but like the bullets from Feluda’s colt, the comment in the cloud cannot be returned.
Tota Roy Chowdhury as the new Feluda in the first look of Feluda Ferot was however was well received in general. As an avid Feluda fan himself Srijit Mukherjee has mentioned in one of his previous interviews that Total Roy Chowdhury has an uncanny resemblance with the sketches of Feluda by Ray. Keeping the nostalgia aside, the audience resonated well with the cast of Feluda Ferot and awaits their new Charminar smoking Feluda to blow them away.
Priyanka Chowdhury is a researcher and an art writer.
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