Forgotten down the road. Remembering the lesser acclaimed directors of the yesteryears in Bengali Cinema

Forgotten down the road

Chandra Banerjee22 May 2009

Bengali cinema has seen many bright directors since its inception. The great Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen and Tapan Sinha are a few who established themselves globally as great directors. However, besides these top few names, there are also some directors who gained fame by presenting some valued films, although they were branded as commercial film makers. Ajoy Kar, Asit Sen and Tarun Majumdar are a few names that come first to the mind, in this category. There are some more directors namely Rajen Tarafdar, Barin Saha and Arabinda Mukhopadhyay also, but they made very few films.

Bengali cinema has seen many bright directors since its inception. The great Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen and Tapan Sinha are a few who established themselves globally as great directors. However, besides these top few names, there are also some directors who gained fame by presenting some valued films, although they were branded as commercial film makers. Ajoy Kar, Asit Sen and Tarun Majumdar are a few names that come first to the mind, in this category. There are some more directors namely Rajen Tarafdar, Barin Saha and Arabinda Mukhopadhyay also, but they made very few films. There was also a time when a group of directors made films for good entertainment. The groups Agradoot & Yatrik belonged to this category.

Ajoy Kar started his career as a cameraman and later started directing films with great settings. He made Jighangsha a film in the early 1950s based on the famous Hound of the Baskervilles, and it became an instant sensation. Harano Sur, an Uttam Kumar - Suchitra Sen starrer, made him famous in the late 1950s and after that he became an established director with a number of hits in his kitty. Saptapadi, another blockbuster, was also made by him. Then came Atal Jaler Ahwan, Kanchkata Heere, Parineeta etc. with Soumitra Chatterjee as the leading hero. His Saat Pake Bandha, another huge hit, fetched laurels for the leading actress, Suchitra Sen, across film festivals. Being a superb cameraman, himself, he knew what would be the perfect angles, for the picturisation of a scene in a good film.

Asit Sen was also a good director and his many films were re-made in Hindi Cinema at a later stage. The most famous of his films was Deep Jwele Jai. Suchitra Sen played the lead actress in the film, and received several awards for this role. Later this film was re-made in Hindi as Khamoshi, with Waheeda Rehman in the lead, which also received much appreciation by the audience. Another of his films, Uttar Phalguni was produced by Uttam Kumar, and became a big hit. The lead actress was again, Suchitra Sen and her acting with the emotional storyline made the film unique in itself. This film was also re-made as Mamta, with Suchitra Sen herself in the Hindi version as well. Mr. Sens another, though lesser known, film Swaralipi was made with Soumitra Chatterjee and Supriya Choudhury as in the lead. The storyline was based on the struggle of a refugee girl from partitioned Bengal, aspiring to become a lead singer in the commercial world, who loses her voice and then regains it later in the film. Geeta Dutt was the key playback singer in the film, which was among the last of her career.

Tarun Majumdar initially started as a director in a group Agradoot. Later he started off on his own with Palatak, which had a nondescript star cast, but had a strong story and memorable songs in it. It contained soothing visuals of Bengali villages and rivers, and the film was widely accepted by the viewers and opened a new era of Bengali cinema. He specialised in presenting simple stories based on villages with good entertainment value for the viewers. Balika Badhu was another film which made him famous. It was

rich in Bengali culture and had a wide variety of songs which became instant blockbusters in Bengal. Sansar Simante was another film in his career, but it was the film Dadar Kirti which opened up another side of his career.

These stalwarts of Bengali cinema need to be remembered by the film world as someone, who not only propagated the good value of culture to the viewers but also brought to them the satisfaction of watching a movie which was close to their heart!

About Chandra Banerjee

Chandra BanerjeeChandra Banerjee is an architect. She completed her studies from the Department of Architecture, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She retired as a Senior Architect, a prestigious post with the CPWD. During her tenure with the CPWD she was posted outside her hometown several times and she took the opportunity to make friends and interact with many people in and outside her domain of work, who are still close friends. She enjoys meeting new people and keeping in touch with them.

She is an art enthusiast and seeks to enjoy art in all its forms. One of such forms is films and she is a self confessed film enthusiast. She enjoys watching films in different languages and also analysing them. She also enjoys exchanging viewpoints on these different movies with others. She is also an avid reader.

Chandra Banerjee presently resides in Kolkata.

[viewed 1536 times]

[Note: For Any clarification on the feature, contact us via this link, or write to us: content(AT)gomolo.com]

Submit an Article Comments (4)

Write a comment on Facebook

Write a comment on Gomolo.com

Agradoot is collective name for group of filmmakers led by Bibhuti Laha which gave many hit movies in 50's and 60's with Uttamkumar, Vishwajit and later with Ranjit Mullick also !!
Posted by Amitava on  May 23 2009 10:08AM
Chandra Banerjee has thrown light upon a very significant topic . Other than the mentioned ones, one may recall Nirmal Dey( Basu Paribar) Dilip Mukherjee made Kacher Sarga, Mangal Chakroverty in "Aami Se O Sakha"; Bikash Roy created "Marutirtha Hinglaj", "Salil Dutta made"Stree", .
Posted by Dipen on  May 23 2009 3:10PM
Besides, Nirmal Dey(Basu Paribar), Dilip Mukherjee(Kancher Sarga), Bikash Roy(Marutirtha Hinglaj), Mangal Chakroverty( Ami Se O Sakha), Sambhu Mitra( Ek Din Ratre), Harisadhan Dasgupta(Kamallata), Sunil Mukherjee(Antony Firingee), Dilip Roy(Amrito Kumbher Sandhane) may, humbly be added to.
Posted by Dipen on  Jun 3 2009 3:30PM
Tarun Majumdar was with Jatrik (or yatrik).
Posted by pinaki on  Jun 18 2009 2:25AM

Do you think, some of the great directors like Ajoy Kar, Asit Sen and Tarun Majumdar have gone unrecognized in the Bengali film industry?

Create poll More polls

For Any clarification on the feature, contact us via this link, or write to us: content(AT)gomolo.com