Komal Gandhar (1961)

Posted: January 3, 2016 in Bangla 1960-70, Bengali films, Ritwik Ghatak, Supriya Choudhury


The film centers around a mobile theatre group and the bickerings and hardship entailed in successfully running theatre in Bengal. It is replete in metaphors and an elegy for partition (the shot with the background chant ‘Dohai Ali, Dohai Ali…’ culminating in a dead-end railway track and a black-out onscreen for a few seconds signifying the deep loss between the two Bengals), and coupled with an interesting interplay of light and sound (as in Meghe Dhaka Tara) epitomizes the Ritwik Ghatak brand of filmmaking.

However, the film is rather melodramatic in its treatment and also weaves in a love story or two against the backdrop of theatre and its politics. Musically the film is rich with its use of Rabindrasangeet (Aaj Josna Raate…, Akash Bhora Ra…) and strains of folk music used recurringly throughout the film. Supriya Chaudhury delivers another soulful performance in the film. The supporting cast includes Anil Chaterjee, Jnanesh Mukherjee and others.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


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