Archive for the ‘Top Ten’ Category

Veteran actor Soumitro Chattopadhyay was recently conferred with France’s highest honor, Légion d’Honneur…

I remember an incident which occurred a few years back (maybe six/seven). I was travelling to Kolkata from New Delhi in a Jet Airways flight. Soumitro C (SC) aka Apu aka Feluda was in the same flight. I had sighted him at Delhi airport itself. It seemed like he was returning from a shooting schedule because I saw fellow actors of Bengali cinema, of whom I could recognize Biswajit Chakraborty, with him. I was amazed at the non-starry way SC carried himself. Very few people in fact recognized him, or showed an interest to click a picture with him. In comparison, see how recognizable mediocre Bollywood actors are in our society. I didn’t possess a smart phone in those days, hence there was no point requesting SC for a snap …

Out of his numerous memorable performances, I pick five of my favourites:

  1. GANASHATRU

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I really loved his work in this film by Satyajit Ray based on an Ibsen play ‘Enemy of the people.’  As a conscientious doctor in a small town who discovers contamination in a water source coming out of a crowd flocking temple and his discovery creating a furor leading to attack on him and his family by unscrupulous members of the temple trust and the town municipality which included his sibling brother, the seasoned actor was simply a delight to watch.

 

  1. DEKHA

 

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Directed by Gautam Ghose, it featured SC in the role of a Milton like blind poet. The subtlety of the performance matching gait akin a blind man, the nuances that brought out the essence of the complexity of the character of the amorous poet living in changing times showcased his brilliance at his craft.

 

  1. AKASH KUSUM

 

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SC has done comedy in several films but this Mrinal Sen directed film is one of his best. Longing can drive a man to desperation – SC epitomized his portrayal of such a character to perfection. Some of the conversations with his love interest Aparna Sen were simply hilarious …This role was enacted by Amitabh Bachchan in the Hindi version MANZIL directed by Basu Chatterjee.

  1. WHEEL CHAIR

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The central protagonist is an America returned wheel-chair ridden doctor (SC) who runs a medical care facility for destitute and poor of the society, and tries to help a rape victim.

 

  1. PARINEETA

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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.

 

Top Ten Indian actors ..

Posted: October 6, 2016 in Top Ten

My choice:

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  1. ASHOK KUMAR – No Indian actor can be associated so strongly with the history of Indian cinema like Dadamoni. His naturalistic acting was evident in every role, whether in ASHIRWAAD or the zany colonel in CHOTI SI BAAT.

List of Memorable films: BANDINI, PARINEETA, MAHAL, HATEY BAZARE, MILI, KHUBSUROOT & several others.

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2. SOUMITRO CHATTOPADHYAY – The doyen of Bengali cinema and the favorite actor of Satyajit Ray is a vaunted name in acting.

List of Memorable films: DEKHA, GANASHATRU, TEEN BHUBANER PARE, SAAT PAKE BADHA, APUR SANSAR, AKASH KUSUM  & many, many more

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3. SANJEEV KUMAR Whether in comedy or serious drama, Hari Bhai was unbeatable. List of Memorable films: ANGOOR, ANDHI, KOSHISH, SHOLAY & many others.

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4. MOTILAL The brilliant actor of early Hindi films has influenced several big names of Bollywood

List of Memorable films: JAGTE RAHO, CHOTI CHOTI BATEN, MR. SAMPAT, ANARI, DEVDAS, PARAKH & several others

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5. UTPAL DUTT/CHABI BISWAS/BIKASH ROY – Utpal Dutt demonstrated his versatility in Bengali and Hindi films, whereas Chabi Biswas did mostly Bengali films with profound impact.

List of Memorable films of UD:  BHUVAN SHOME, AGUNTUK, GOLMAAL, APNE PARAYE & several others

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List of Memorable films of CB: KANCHENJUNGA, KABULKIWALLAH, JALSAGAR, ORA THAKE ODHARE & many more

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List of Memorable roles of Bikash Roy: Uttar Falguni, Ramer Sumoti, Bibas, Argogya Niketan, Aadhar Periye, Chele Kaar, Naa, Jibon Kahani, Beyallish …

 

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6. OM PURI – He has demonstrated his acting prowess in several roles

List of Memorable films: AKROSH, ARDH SATYA, CHOKH, SUSMAN, SADGATI, MUHAFIZ, CITY OF JOY, EAST IS EAST & others

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7. KAMALHASSAN – Versatile actor/director with his most significant work in South Indian cinema

List of Memorable films: MOONRAM PIRAI (SADMA in Hindi), NAYAKAN, PUSHPAK & others

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8. BALRAJ SAHANI – List of Memorable films: DO BIGHA ZAMEEN, GARAM HAWA ….

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9. MITHUN CHAKRABORTY – Winner of the Best Actor National Award thrice, Mithun has played every conceivable role – from a Santhal tribal to an ageing freedom fighter, a ventriloquist to Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, a disco dancer to a boxer, a Nariyal (Coconut) paniwala to an alleged Nobel thief, his range is truly amazing

List of Memorable films: MRIGAYA, TAHADER KATHA, GUDIA, AGNIPATH, NOBEL CHOR, SUKHNO LANKA …

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  1. IRRFAN KHAN – List of Memorable films: NAMESAKE, PAAN SINGH TOMAR, JAZEERE (Gobind Nihalani), SALAAM BOMBAY ….

 

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  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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

Top 10 films of Mrinal Sen

Posted: February 14, 2014 in Mrinal Sen, Top Ten

Here is my pick of the top 10 films by the director

1. CHORUS (1974)

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I have a soft corner for this one, which have been rubbished off by many so called pundits who appreciates good cinema. Chaplinesque in its treatment, this reaches great heights in the experimental phase of the director, who had received critical acclaim with his previous BHUVAN SHOME. The USP of this film is the rather amusing treatment of a very serious subject, something our so called ‘parallel cinema’ filmmakers never explored.
2. BHUVAN SHOME (1969)

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3. KHANDAHAR

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4. KHARIJ

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5. AKALER SANDHANE

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6. EK DIN PRATIDIN

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7. EK DIN ACHANAK

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8. CALCUTTA 71

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9. BAISEY SHRAVAN

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10. INTERVIEW

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Utpal Dutta was one of the finest actors Indian Cinema has ever produced. In attempting to zero in on his top performances, I came up with the following list

    1. BHUVAN SHOME (1969)

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  • AGUNTUK (1991)

 

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  • GOLMAAL

 

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  • PADMA NADIR MAJHI

 

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  • APNE PARAYE

 

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  • SAHEB

 

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  • JOY BABA FELUNATH

 

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  • CHORUS

 

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  • HIRAK RAJAR DESHE

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  • PATHBHOLA

 

  • Path Bhola  1986 Tapas Pal, Prasenjit, Nayana Das, Utpal Dutta, Sandhya Roy, Abhishek Chattopadhyay, Nayna Das