“Bhooter raja dilo bor” – the most lovable ghost character in the world of cinema is our very own. Bengali cinema has been appreciated and applauded numerous times on the world stage. The choice of topics, the depiction of society and the portrayal of reality have always enriched the audience. Bengal and its people have proudly reached the world audience through our cinema and cinematography.
A Golden Past
The golden era of Bengali cinema is dotted with gripping plots, performances and opinionated depiction of emotions, facts, literature and imagination, influenced by our rich cultural heritage. The socio-political scenario has been brought out through different genres like romance, humor, satire and others. Bengal as the hub of British Raj, the advent of freedom movements, the revolution for change, the empowerment of women and a futuristic outlook, all of this have been aptly narrated through Bengali films to influence the viewers.
Movies were not just commercial entertainers, but an image of the society. Jalsaghar, Ajantrik, Meghe Dhaka Tara are such real pictures of the contemporary society, which took Bengal to the International panorama of cinema. Bengali directors mastered the art of storytelling to enthrall the audience with emotions and reality. Fictional depiction in Goopy Gyan Bagha Byan was a breakthrough in cinematography in those days. The conceptualization of alien by Satyajit Ray is an example of our advanced thought process. The ghost dance sequence is a phenomenal example, which took the world by awe. Directors like Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak also made a niche for themselves with strong scripts and impactful direction, which brought honorary titles from across the world.
Detective thrillers like Byomkesh, Feluda were no doubt the best of its kind, which made a permanent place in our hearts. Immaculate performances of legends like Uttam Kumar, Soumitra Chattopadhya, Robi Ghosh, Utpal Dutta and other contemporaries are unforgetable. Bengali films have also been a benchmark for music and soulful melodies.
A Reviving Present
The Bengali film industry was once a beacon of Indian cinemas, and it has regained its popularity with a bevy of talented directors like Late Rituporno Sengupta, Goutam Ghosh, Aparna Sen, Srijit Mukherji, Sujoy Ghosh and others. Even Bollywood stars eagerly portray Bengali characters. A Kahani, a Barfi, a Paromitar Ekdin, a Proloy will always mesmerize us amidst commercial blockbusters. Young, budding artists, along with stalwarts continue to entertain us on the silver screen. Every aspect of cinema has reached its height of excellence through Bengali movies.
A Promising Future
Contemporary Bengali movies like Chotoder Chobi, Nirbashito, Ek Phali Rod, Anubroto Bhalo Achho? and others, are recognized Internationally. Goutam Ghosh’s Sankhachil makes an attempt to overcome political barriers. Such is the impact of Bengali movies on our society and our mindset. Detective thrillers continue to be our forte with Kirit debuting with Kalo Bhomor.
As sweet as the language, Bengali films have also made it to the ‘head and heart of the world audience’. The ‘reel life’ of Bengal is truly the real image of Bengal’s culture and heritage.
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