Tag Archives: Utpal Dutt

Sukumar Ray A Documentary By Satyajit Ray

‘Sukumar Ray’ – Screenplay & Direction: Satyajit Ray 

1987, India. Documentary, 30 min, Color
Producer: Govt. of West BengalCredits

Narration: Soumitra Chatterjee 

Cinematography: Barun Raha 

Editing: Dulal Dutta 

Art Direction: Ashoke Bose 

Sound: Sujit Sarkar 

Music: Satyajit RayCast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Utpal Dutt, Santosh Dutt, Tapen ChatterjeeSummary.

The film presents the life and work of the writer Sukumar Ray, Satyajit Ray’s father. Ray made this film as a tribute to celebrate the centenary of his birth. The film comprises still photographs and readings from Sukumar Ray’s writings.

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Sukumar Ray (1887-1923), the eldest son of Upendra Kishore, studied printing technology in England and joined the family business. He was an eminent poet, writer and illustrator of nonsense literature in the tradition of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear.Sukumar Ray fell ill the year Satyajit Ray was born with a dreaded tropical disease of the time – Kala-azar. He regularly contributed poems, stories and illustrations to ‘Sandesh’, a children’s magazine in Bengali which Satyajit Ray’s grandfather had started publishing and printing.

Featured article from Bollywoodirect.Courtesy: Sshoibal youtube channel

Bhuvan Shome – the beginning of the Indian New Wave/Art house Cinema

Bhuvan Shome – the beginning of the Indian New Wave/Art house Cinema.

written by Souranath Banerjee

In history we have witnessed many revolutions; be it the political revolts of common men against some tyrant, or simply a revolution of ideas (scientific, social, economical or cultural) that seemed to challenge and unshackle the primeval customs and convictions of the society.

Cinema being the most significant collective art-form that plays a pivotal role in developing and mirroring the different cultures has also been revolutionized many a times and always for good.

Mrinal-Sen-with-Satyajit-Ray-posterItalian Neorealism, the French New Wave, the Japanese New Wave – and then, finally it was India’s turn to surf the waves of experimentation. 

Renowned directors (the neo-realists as they were called) like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal SenRitwik GhatakKhwaja Ahmad AbbasTapan SinhaChetan AnandBimal RoyGuru DuttV. Shantaram, later joined by Shyam BenegalAdoor GopalakrishnanG. AravindanBuddhadeb Dasgupta, and Girish Kasaravalli, inspired by the foreign film movements made films that were unorthodox in both style and execution.

mrinal-sen-posterThe already popular ‘parallel cinema’ became more radical and avant-garde.

And thus in the late 60s, Indian Cinema was revolutionized once again and it was the birth of the ‘new wave of Indian Cinema’, popularly known as the ‘art house’ cinema.

It is said that Mrinal Sen‘s epic film Bhuvan Shome (1969) along with Mani Kaul‘s Uski Roti and Basu Chatterjee‘s Sara Akash were the very first creations of the Indian New Wave.

bhuvan-shome-poster1Based on a Bengali story written by Banaphool (Balai Chand Mukhopadhya), Bhuvan Shome was Mrinal Sen’s first film in Hindi language.

It had the first appearance of Suhasini Mulay as an actor, ace cinematographer K.K. Mahajan‘s first feature, first music composition for a film by Vijay Raghava Rao and also the first ever voiceover given by none other than Amitabh Bachchan (he wasn’t even introduced as an actor at the time).

That year the film bagged three National Awards Best Feature FilmBest Director and also the Best Actor (Utpal Dutt).

But more importantly, Mrinal Sen introduced a new kind of film-language that was innovative and amusing to both the audience and the critics of Indian Cinema.

bhuvan-shome-poster3The basic story line of Bhuvan Shome is surprisingly uncomplicated.

The lead character named Bhuvan Shome (brilliantly played by Utpal Dutt) is a high-posted railway official, a widower (probably in his late 40s) and also an authoritarianwho steps out of his mundane office routine with the intention of playing the hunter.

But after being touched by the beauty of nature and then an encounter with a sweet and mysterious village girl Gauri (Suhasini Mulay), Mr. Bhuvan Shome’s perspective of judgement changes and he finally learns to relax and enjoy life. 

bhuvan-shome-poster4Though the interpretation of the film is often made from a highly cynical overview – that Bhuvan Shome’s character was actually manipulated by the not-so-innocent villager girl Gauri whose (only) real motive was to save her husband’s job. But again that’s debatable.

In an interview director Mrinal Sen interestingly pointed out: Our intention was never to tame a tough bureaucrat. On the contrary, our intention was to “corrupt” a bureaucrat suffering from Victorian morality.

Probably it was Mrinal Sen’s first attempt to satirize the Indian bureaucracy and indeed a successful one.

Shot mostly in the deserts of Gujarat (such locations were also rarely used that time) the film cleverly exploits the city-to-village contrast scenario – the bullock carts and the muddy roads, the hospitable simple-minded villagers and the picturesque flock of flamingos!

Superbly innovative editing by Raju NaikGangadhar Naskar and Dinkar Shetye.

Right from the first shot of the railway tracks (from the point-of-view of the fast moving train perfectly synced with classical alap) to the creative documentary format of narration and then the extensive use of still frames, use of live footages and also the innovative utilization of animation – Bhuvan Shome was the most stylized and inventive film of that time.

bhuvan-shome-poster2A film so deliberately diverging from the general norms and trends of filmmaking and yet such a visual treat for the cinema lovers. An exceptional artistic triumph!

Bhuvan Shome was Mrinal Sen’s most successful film and also one of the first feature that trumpets the beginning of a new era in Indian Cinema – the rise of Indian New Wave/Art house cinema.

Photo Courtesy: www.mrinalsen.orgPhoto (Sen & Ray) Clicked By: Nemai Ghosh.

Bengali Classic Comedies of all times (10+1list)

Best Bengali Classic Comedies of all times

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Bengali Classic Comedies of all times: Bengali Cinema has a long history of making comedy films which perfectly defined the term ‘family entertainment’. We Bengali’s love to laugh out loud and the Bengali-Classic-Comedies-of-all-timesclassic Bengali comedies have given us the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Even Satyajit Ray has made films like the Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne series and Paras-Pathar which essentially falls in the comic genre.

Here i have listed some of the Best Bengali Classic Comedies of all times; films that are enjoyed by all generations and which are also responsible to make our childhood a bit more merrier.

And the laugh riot starts now!

1. Sharey Chuattar (1953)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZuhgll3MWc

Bengali-Classic-Comedies-of-all-times

Imagine the chaos when a beautiful girl arrives in hostel full of bachelors!

Directed by Nirmal Dey, casting the most romantic pair of Bengali Film History – Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen at their best. And an even better chemistry between Tulsi Chakraborty and Molina Devi.

Also accompanied by Bhanu BannerjeeJahar Roy and Nabadwip Halder – a laugh riot indeed. 

2. Lukochuri (1958)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwYHUwcb9jw

Bengali-Classic-Comedies-of-all-times

Kamal Majumdar directed comedy, a unique film both in style and execution.

Twin brothers and the hilarious twin-related misunderstandings. Kishore Kumar proves to be the king of comedy. 

Casting Mala SinhaAnita Guha, supported by Anoop KumarKeshto MukherjeeNripati Chatterjee and Rajyalakshmi. And some great songs! 

3. Jomalaye Jibanta Manush (1958)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH-oh8Kv3es

Bengali-Classic-Comedies-of-all-times

Directed by Prafulla Chakraborty, the film at a first glance is a comic love story with an innovative plot and hilarious dialogues. But if one looks carefully the film is actually a satire, a sarcastic take on the-then society. 

Bhanu Bannerjee at his best – teaching the ‘hum hum gudi gudi’ dance to the all the Apsaras in Heaven!

4. Galpa Holeo Satyi (1966)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ5CJ5rU-1M

Bengali-Classic-Comedies-of-all-times

Robi Ghosh in the lead role (my personal favorite) as the God send helping hand who knits a joint family together with his clever wits.  

Probably the best written story among this list – written and directed by Tapan Sinha.

Remade in Bollywood as the Rajesh Khanna starer Bawarchi (1972) directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

5. 80 te Asio Na (1967)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wAOeP9Cmy4

Bengali-Classic-Comedies-of-all-timesThe eternal fantasy of the fountain of youth; a neglected old man takes a dip in it and becomes young!

Bhanu Bannerjee takes the lead followed by Jahar RoyRobi GhoshRuma Guha ThakurtaTarun Kumar and Asitbaran.

Directed by Sree Jayadratha, a fun satire on human nature and society.

6. Chhadmabeshi (1971)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ8qB0UnkfU

Bengali-Classic-Comedies-of-all-times

Directed by Agradoot, story by Upendranath Ganguly – this one is a gem of a Bengali comedy.

Uttam Kumar disguised as the driver to fool Madhabi Mukherjee‘s uncle Bikash Roy! Also starring Subhendu ChatterjeeJahar RoyTarun Kumar among others.

Was remade by Hrishikesh Mukherjee in Hindi titled Chupke Chupke (1975) staring DharmendraSharmila TagoreAmitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri.

7. Dhanyee Meye (1971)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDFBuaBY-yY

Bengali-Classic-Comedies-of-all-times

And finally a RomCom that includes Bengali’s favorite sport – Football!

Uttam Kumar and Sabitri Chatterjee has an awesome chemistry in this film. Jaya Bhaduri plays the tomboyish young girl, along with a formidable comic lineup Jahar RoyRobi GhoshTarun Kumar and Partho Mukerjee.

Directed by Arabinda Mukhopadhyay, a film very close to my heart. Awesome songs in the voices of Hemanta MukherjeeManna Dey and Aarti Mukherjee.

8. Bibaha Bibhrat (1971)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tssr-jEyBt8

Bengali-Classic-Comedies-of-all-times

Directed by Ashim Bannerjee this one is the story of a boy who gets in trouble after his sudden marriage decision. 

When Anup Kumar and Robi Ghosh get together the comic timing can’t be better. Utpal Dutt plays the angry father and Lily Chakravarty the young bride.  A film that guarantees both laughter and nostalgia. 

9. Sriman Prithviraj (1973)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1pb5iMWiDU

Bengali-Classic-Comedies-of-all-times

Original story by Bibhutibhusan Mukhopadhyay, written and directed by Tarun MajumdarThis Bengali film takes a comic take on child marriage.

A hilarious tale of Ayan Banerjee the young husband who is the follower of ‘Prithiraj’ and his even younger wife Mahua Roy ChowdhurySandhya Roy also plays an important role.

10. Basanata Bilap (1973)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMI7Nk5OwuI

Bengali-Classic-Comedies-of-all-times

A contest of wit between a gang of four young girls and boys, a rivalry that of course soon leads to romance.

Directed by Dinen Gupta, this one has some of the best comic sequences ever!

Staring Soumitra Chatterjee, Aparna SenRobi GhoshAnup KumarChinmoy Roy among others.  

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Charmurti (1978)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIfygFlt_JI

Bengali-Classic-Comedies-of-all-times

From the novel written by Narayan Gangopadhyay, directed by Umanath Bhattacharya this film is the story of the adventurous four from a place called Potoldanga – TeniDa, Pyalaram, Habul Sen and Kyabla.

Chinmoy Roy leading as TeniDa, we also have Santosh DuttaSatya Banerjee and Robi Ghosh to make the adventure more entertaining.

And now a few other honorable mentions which are not included in the above list: Bancharamer Bagan (1980), Mouchak (1974), Dadar Kirti (1980), Personal Assistant (1959) among many others.

Similar Interest: Best Bengali Films 2012 – 2014

Similar Interest: Best Bengali Films 2015 – 2016

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com