Archive for the ‘Buddhadeb Dasgupta’ Category


Swapner Din Poster.jpg

I read a criticism of an eminent film critic about Buddhadeb Dasgupta becoming ‘very personal’ in his later films which lack the social  commitment and depth he showed in his early films (Dooratwa, Grihajuddha, Bagh Bahadur and others). SWAPNER DIN would fall in the second phase of his films and no different from the personal kind of films (LAL DARJA & others) he has been making in recent times …

I was trying to dissect SWAPNER DIN and its inner message. The film is basically about a Govt. employee (Prasenjit) and his driver friend (Rajesh Sharma) who tours the villages to promote Govt. schemes (like educating the rural folks about the use of condoms). In carrying out the mission, the Projector and even the Govt. Car gets stolen. A number of characters make brief appearances to fuse themselves into the abstract storyline of the director…

While trying to unravel the hidden message, I think that BD is telling us that in spite of the fact that all dreams are crumbling (the uneasy relationship the protagonist Prasenjit has with his father and his mother living with another man, the quibbling land-lady where Prasenjit lived as a tenant for seven years, thieves robbers terrorists and exploiters abound everywhere…) we must never stop dreaming …this is validated in the concluding sequence of the film wherein the beautiful actress/village belle (Raima Sen) leads our protagonist towards dreamland…

The supporting cast includes Reema Sen, Haradhan Bannerjee and others …

Rating: 2.8 out of 5


Image result for kagojer nouka movie

KAGAZER NOUKA is a topical film that portrays the contemporary reality of a corruption ridden society. Through the character of a freedom fighter (Victor Bannerjee), a Gandhian with strong idealistic values the film mirrors the decadence and frustration facing the elderly who had sacrificed everything to liberate the Nation. In that respect, the film echoes Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s TAHADER KATHA. Otherwise, it is a very different film from TK and revolves around the nefarious chit-fund business that rocked West Bengal and brought about its disrepute.

The versatile Soumitro Chattopadhyay in the role of an evil businessman controlling the chit-fund empire & a childhood buddy of the protagonist freedom fighter is competent as usual. The others in the cast includes Bidita Bag, Anusya Mazumdar, Rajesh Sharma and others. Victor B reprises the role of an Angry old man again after LATHI and act with aplomb. The film is directed by Partha Pratim Joardar.

The film was severely criticized by some critics, but somehow I liked the subject matter and the unfolding of events and don’t attest the critics viewpoint who gave it a rating of 1, or 1.5 out of 5 to this film.

Rating; 3.5 out of 5


Buddhadeb Dasgupta becomes quite pessimistic in some of his films (Tahader Katha, Bagh Bahadur, Phera, and now Janala). He seems to suggest that do-gooders have no place in our society and they have to pay a heavy price as does the protagonist (Indranil Sengupta) in the film. The situations and the developments appear a bit removed from reality. Although the wife of the protagonist (Swastika Mukherjee) works in a call centre, a modern profession she is constantly subjected to abuse and mental torture in her work.

Those who have seen Dasgupta’s earlier films this too has his signature written all over – a rural backdrop, dream sequences, performing artists and exploitation etc. The director paints a bleak picture of society where unscrupulous people have a field day. The school of the protagonist where he tries to donate a Janala (Window) is run by members who are only concerned about reaping financial dividends as does the owner of the circus which compels a couple who are trapeze artists and on the verge of becoming parents to flee from the circus. The director seems to be paying homage to the showman of Indian Cinema Raj Kapoor when his song from Mera Naam Joker played in the background during the performances of the trapeze artists.

The supporting cast includes Sankar Chakravorty, Tapas Pal, Manoj Mitra and others. This is a let down from the director who raised the bar of filmmaking with Dooratwa, Grihajuddha & Charachar.

Rating: 3 out of 5

As we celebrate the sixty-ninth anniversary of our Independence, I feel it is a moment for all of us to be proud and take pride in being the citizen of a free nation. We must recall the memories of so many freedom fighters that have sacrificed their lives / given it all to enable us to be a free citizen of a great country. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Surja Sen, Mangal Pandey, Khudiram Bose, Udham Singh, Gandhi, Sri Aurobindo, Veer Savarkar, Bagha Jatin, Chandrashekar Azad and many others deserve respect for giving us this hard earned freedom… I was looking at celluloid and tried to discover some works that speak of the post freedom scenario. I drew a blank, except for this 1992 award winning film …


There have been several films on the lives of freedom fighters. However, one can’t recall any film which has been made on the plight of a freedom fighter in post Independent India. TAHADER KATHA captures the agony of one such freedom fighter Shibnath Mukherjee (Mithun Chakraborty) who returns after serving a long term prison sentence to his village. Shibnath was imprisoned for killing a British officer in pre-independence days, and the release happened in a free country.

The world he discovers in his village and elsewhere repulses him. It tellingly captures the decadence in society all around symbolizing that idealism, dreams and sacrifices of our freedom fighters have just evaporated – the gravest injustice that citizens of a free nation could have inflicted upon the memories of those who even laid down their lives for the sake of their motherland.

The film is rich in visual imagery. The scenic rural backdrop has been brilliantly used as a contrast to the inner turmoil of the protagonist. The father-son relationship and their dialogues are quite memorable. The film also touches upon the theme of partition and displacement and loss of a homeland. When Shibnath returns to his family he finds that their ancestral land has become part of a neighboring country.

The film ends quite poignantly. Shibnath is shown taken away from his village after being branded as a mad man in the train that brought him to the village in the initial sequence. Now, was that inspired by the mapping sequence as seen in the beginning and the ending of Ghatak’s MegheDhaka Tara? Anyway, this was a resonating commentary on the state of affairs prevailing in the nation.

The film uses a lot of tracking shots. Mithun Chakraborty gives a fine performance in the lead role. He won the second National award for Best actor for this superlative performance. He was ably supported by Dipankar Dey, Anusya Mazumdar, Haradhan Bannerjee and others. The film is based on a story by Kamal Kumar Majumdar.

Rating: 3.9 out of 5



  1. Mrinal Sen                                                                                                                                                                         Most cine buffs would be surprised by my choice and would contest my preference. Yet I feel no Indian filmmaker has shown greater social commitment and yet managed to build an evolutionary narrative technique incorporating strands from International cinema developments and blending it seamlessly with the Indian story. List of outstanding films: Bhuvan Shome, Khandahar, Chorus, Akaler Sandhane, Kharij and many others                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              satyajit

2.  Satyajit Ray

The master storyteller and the most famous Indian filmmaker internationally. The only Indian recipient of the Oscars for Lifetime contribution to cinema. List of outstanding films: Pather Panchali, Kanchenjunga, Apur Sansar and several others.


3. Gautam Ghose

Someone who has made films like Antarjali Yatra, Moner Manush & Paar ought to be bracketed with the very best. He has other notable works to his credit – Gudia, Patang, Padma Nadir Majhi, Dekha & Kaalbela, being some of them, Camerawork in his films are usually stunning (Antarjali Yatra, Abar Aranye, Padma Nadir Majhi). He has made several award winning documentaries.


4. Tapan Sinha

He has more than forty films to his credit, several of them outstanding – Khoniker Athithe, Nirjan Saikate, Galpo Holeo Satti and many many others.


5. Rituparno Ghosh

He led the revival of Bengali cinema and was instrumental in bringing the audience back to the theater. He espoused the feminine cause through his films woven in a tight narrative. List of outstanding films: Dahan, Raincoat, Bariwali, Asookh, Naukadubi, The Last Lear, Shubho Mahurat, Dosar and some others.


6. Buddhadeb Dasgupta

The films of the poet-filmmaker has a lyrical quality about them. List of outstanding films: Charachar, Dooratwa, Uttara, Grihajuddha and some others.


7. Ritwik Ghatak –  A pioneer of the cinema revolution in Bengal, his early film Nagarik is often considered as a fine specimen of realistic film making and preceded Ray’s Pather Panchali by a few years. Has a cult following, and as seen in MEGHE DHAKA TARA & SUBORNOREKHA wove innovative techniques in sound design, triple jump cuts and angular shots into the narrative. His use of melodrama often didn’t find favor with the discerning viewers. Had he made more films and lived longer (also Rituparno Ghosh), Bengal and Indian cinema would have greatly benefited.


8. Aparna Sen – has made some remarkable films (36 chowringhee lane, paromitar ek din, gaynar baksho). Loneliness and human relationships are her pet themes.


9. Pramathesh Barua – made socially relevant films in the 1930s – 1950s. He was a pioneer in introducing artificial lighting in Indian cinema. Mukti, Hirak Jayanti, Devdas, Sesh Uttor are some of the notable films he made.


10. Debaki Basu

He introduced sound for the first time in films like Chandidas (1932) and was the first filmmaker to be awarded at International film festivals. His notable works include Vidyapati, Nartaki, Sagar Sangamey, Naba Janmo and several others.