Archive for the ‘Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’ Category

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In some respects PARESH by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay bears a resemblance to his story NISHKRITI. In both these stories, the elder brother a good Samaritan looks after the family business. Enters the second/middle brother — a greedy fellow wanting a division of the family property and cornering the lion’s share of it.

The titular protagonist Paresh (played by Nirmal Kumar) has grown up in the village under the tutelage of his uncle (elder brother of his father played by Pahari Sanyal). It is apparent that Paresh respects his uncle even more than his parents who try their best to steal their son from someone he really adores. The patriarch (Pahari Sanyal) has more faith in his nephew Paresh than on his own son Bimal (played by Premansu Bose). Bimal is greedy and falls into bad company. This has a ruinous effect on the family.

Misunderstanding surfaces in the relation between Paresh with his jhetu (Pahari Sanyal). To know the full story, watch this immensely moving film with brilliant performances by Pahari  Sanyal and Nirmal Kumar and ably supported by Manju Dey, Molina Devi, Sova Sen, Tulsi Chakraborty, Sabitri Chatterjee, Kamal Mitra and others.

The film was directed by Ajay Kar with music by Anupam Ghatak.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Delving deeper into the failed love of Devdas and Paro, one could possibly attribute it to the epistle that Devdas wrote to his childhood paramour (Paro) from the city. In that letter he mentions of his reluctance to convert their relationship into conjugal union, something that would hurt his parents and their family prestige. Though soon after Devdas rushes to his village to make amends with Paro, everything has been lost by then.

What makes DEVDAS so popular with Indian filmmakers resulting in its several versions or their modified adaptations (Dev D, Muquddar Ka Sikandar). Love blooms abundantly in this novel by Sarat Chattopadhyay (Devdas and Paro love each other, Chandramukhi loves Devdas) but none of the relationship is taken towards consummation. The author highlights that love couldn’t transcend the barriers society had set for those times. Was SC suggesting by way of implication that social mores ought to change for that period, and compassion and acceptances of differences in terms of class, caste and also prejudices about courtesan need to be brought about.

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The Bimol Roy version that I saw recently was immensely watchable with competent performances by Dilip Kumar in the titular role, ably supported by Suchitra Sen,  Vjyantimala Bali & Motilal. At some places, Suchitra Sen’s diction had a Bengali slant of speaking Hindi but otherwise she is quite expressive and acts brilliantly. The sequence of a sozzled Motilal trying to hang his walking stick on the shadow of the hanger was quite hilarious.

Rating; 3.8 out of 5

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Based on a Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay novel, the film depicts the lives of Bengalis who went to Rangoon to work in that country. The author had lived in Burma for several years and this has largely reflected itself in the insights one can draw from the characters and stories in his novel which were based on Burma and Burmese life.

In this film Srikanto (Vasant Choudhury) is shown heading towards Rangoon in search of a job. On the ship in which he is travelling, he meets Abhaya (Mala Sinha) who is going to Rangoon to find her long missing husband Purno (Bikash Roy). The narrative unfolds several characters and highlights several facets of exploitation – Bengalis living in Burma are shown being exploitative and deceiving indigenous simple Burmese women.

Vasant Choudhury and Mala Sinha are brilliant. The supporting cast of Jahar Roy, Tarun Kumar, Satya Bannerjee, Gita Dey, Dilip Roy & others lend good support.

Rating: 3.8 out of 5

I really find this a heart-warming romantic film. The coy-and-quiet romance between Shekar (Soumitro Chaterjee) and Lolita (Moushumi Chaterjee) in the film reaches a level rarely reached in the Bengali and Indian cinemas. The Ajay Kar directed film was based on a story by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.

Sarat Chattopadhyay excelled at exploring nuanced relationships in families bonded by ties or by blood. He has done this in his novels like NISHKRITI (made into a Hindi film APNE PARAYE by Basu Chaterjee) & PARINEETA among others. The author also voices his opposition to orthodox beliefs in Hinduism and often pits his characters in Brahmanical-Brahmo conflict.

The film has good all round performances and stalwarts like Bikash Roy, Chaya Devi & Kamal Mitra delivers as usual. Soumitro and Moushumi are terrific. Samit Bhanja in a supporting role of a Brahmo and a potential suitor of Lolita is likeable.

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

‘Datta’ is directed by Ajay Kar based on a story by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. The film title would literarily translate as ‘betrothed.’

The story is a simple romantic one involving the heiress of a Zamindar family (Suchitra Sen) and a good village doctor Naren (Soumitro Chattopadhyay). Love blooms in spite of the fact that  Suchitra hailed from a Brahmo family and Soumitro from a Brahmin family. There is villain in the property usurping uncle (Utpal Dutt and his son Samit Bhanja) .

Utpal Dutt looked after the Zamindari after the demise of Suchitra’s father and was tyrannical towards the villagers. He hatched plans of usurping the Zamindari by marrying his son Samit Bhanja with Suchitra. Does he succeed in his plan? Or would Soumitro win his ladylove? Watch this feel good film to know the answer (in case you haven’t got it alreadyJ)

Sarat Chandra vividly captures the variegated colors of village life with finesse. Love, greed, sacrifices and ideological clashes find expression in his writings.

The main actors perform credibly. The chemistry between Soumitro and Suchitra is quite good, but I think it wasn’t explored much in Bengali cinema (apart from ‘Saat Pake Badha’ and a few others) in the wake of the Uttam-Suchitra duo attaining huge popularity. The supporting cast includes Sailen Mukherjee  and Sumitra Mukherjee.

Rating: 3.7 out of 5