“Of course I’d rather have nice things written about me, but I’m not a great auteur, I’m not a great director. I’m a good director. I have an ability to make people examine certain circumstances,”
Richard Attenborough, 1923 – 2014.
Attenborough as Lew Moran, The Flight of the Phoenix, 1966
You know that Hollywood is a factory of dreams when even despite all the brains and experience that is yours, you still think of an actor as the person who brought you those dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.
For me, Jurassic Park is not Spielberg, it is the old millionaire in a straw hat trying to re-live a boyhood dream, my dream, everyone’s dream of seeing dinosaurs take on humans, ever since Godzilla came out of the sea near Odo island in 1954. It is Attenborough. He takes on a plodding Sam Neill, an unnecessary Laura Dern and a very hot Jeff Goldblum and manages to make them all invisible.
Attenborough as John Hammond, eccentric millionaire
He also made a couple of excellent films on the way to making us examine circumstances. Gandhi, Chaplin and Cry Freedom being some of them. I watched him most recently in Shatranj Ke KhilaRi, where he was as far from the benevolent grandfather as one could possibly be. Suffice it to say, I hated Outram, the role he played. With the same intensity that I had loved John Hammond in Jurassic Park.
Satyajit Ray with Attenborough, sets of SKK,
Photo: Nemai Ghosh