Not too many films of yesteryears have survived the ravages of time. Thus, it was heartening to see that the print quality of this 54 year old Bengali film , an award winner @ Berlin Film Festival in 1962 in a good condition.
Watching the film one felt how the natural school of acting thrived in those days in the films of filmmakers like Tapan Sinha. It is a delight to watch actors like Chabi Biswas, Radhamohan Bhattacharyya, Manju Dey, Jahar Roy and others bring their respective roles alive with such finesse.

kabuliwala
Around late 50s-early 60s Bengali filmmakers like Mrinal Sen and Tapan Sinha made a foreigner in Kolkata as the protagonist of their films. Kali Bannerjee played a Chinese hawker in Sen’s NEEL AKASER NEECHEY & Sinha’s KABULIWALLAH showcased Chabi Biswas as an Afghani Pathan. Both the films play around with suspicions arising in the minds of people when a bonding develops between the foreigner with a local (the wife in NEEL AKASER NEECHEY & the little girl in KABULIWALLAH). Did the two writers, Mahadevi Verma (Neel Akaser Neechey) & Tagore (Kabuliwallah) ever found any similarities in their works? In both the films the ending finds the protagonist returning to his home country.
The child actor is superlative. Jeben Bose & Nripati Chaterjee act in supporting roles. The director uses a couple of Rabindrasangeet in the film. KHORO BAYU BOY BEGE is one of them. The music of the film was scored by sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar.

Writing in the  South Asia Security Trends (Wed, Jul 09 2008)  Rahul K. Bhonsle  (Editor, Livemint) says

For most of us engrossed in our daily drudgery of potholes to work and late night outs on weekends, Afghanistan may be another land where a war-like situation prevails. But not long ago, the Pathan was a household name immortalized by Rabindranath Tagore’s Kabuliwala, which can move even the hard-hearted to tears to this day. It also picturizes the harsh land that Afghanistan was then, and it is apparent that nothing much has changed.

Rating: 3.8 out of 5

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s