This is the name of a documentary film made by my good friend and senior (FTII), Shayamal Karmarkar. Before I talk of the film, I gotta talk about Shyamalda. Long back, when I was studying in the Institute, there was a strike and I was in my hometown. Once you have started a life in the Insti, being forced to be home doing nothing was synonymous to being apart from a new lover. Those were the days before emails, cell phones, I think we didnt even have a landline then.
And I got a card from Shaymal. I do not remember the contents of the card. What I cannot forget, is that, on the top-right corner of the envelope, instead of a stamp, was a sketch of Shyamal himself. He had so expertly printed it, with zig-zag edge on all sides, that the post-office had literally stamped the round black thappa on it, without realizing that this aint no stamp.
So up here are Shyamol and his heroine, Ranu. Ranu Gayan. She thinks she is very beautiful. And this makes her so. It's that simple.
And, as is obvious from the photograph, Shyamal thinks, no he feels her beauty. So he shot with her for six years, and made a film, seeing which, even I am smitten. In fact, I started the film again after it finished, because I wanted to continue looking at her.
A few years ago, in the boys hostel of FTII, when I told him that I am Ramakrishna's fan, Shyamal had confessed that he comes from the same family as the master. Like an idiot, I touched Shyamals feet, much to the embarrassment of all the folks around, including Shyamal. Afterwards, I thought, Shyamal is such a nalayak, he must have lied. I regreted touching his feet.
One of the nicest aspects of Sri Ramankrishna is the sweet sweet way he treated women. Although he was celibate, he was most loving to his wife. He never called her 'tu', but always refered to her as 'tumhi'. (Ok, that was a marathi translation, but I am no bengali, and yes, I still own Ramakrishna.) And, when Ramakrishna was sent to a umm, prostitute, he bowed down to her and said that she is Kali herself. It seems they wanted his spiritual madness to 'come down' a little, but the fellow was too far gone into samadhi.
This is a concept that has been used in many a film, but it has always remained a superficial gesture. No film maker ever came ten feet close to the original.
Till now. 'I am the very beautiful' is a film in which Shyamal has bowed to us women. As we are.
And why not, for we are the very beautiful.
I have no idea where this film is available, I got it from the HOD of a film departmnet. Maybe you can ask Shyamal? Pasting below some words that introduce the film.