BIMAL ROY: A Daughter’s Perseverance For Recognition
By Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
Rinki Bhattacharya's perseverance to provide the honor to one of the finest and the greatest director's of Indian cinema is going to bear fruit today (January 8) when after 41 years of his passing away, Bimal Roy would be provided recognition by issuance of a postal stamp on his death anniversary. A man who raised the Indian cinema to the exalted heights and opening the window of the Indian realities to the western audience getting recognition from the authorities after such a long time is indeed a matter of concern.
Here was a man who with DO BIGHA ZAMEEN made in 1953, was able to bring about the ignominy of an agricultural labor in all its pathos and pain and the situation still continues to be the same for an ordinary agricultural laborer even 54 years after the film was made. Drawing inspiration from de Sica's BICYCLE THIEF (1949), a neo-realistic film went on to win accolades at international film festivals like Cannes, and the Karlovy film festival, though it was a moderate success on the commercial scale. Incidentally this was the film which was considered as his best film by Balraj Sahni. It was the juxtaposition of the helplessness against the forces of economics that brought about the romanticism in an ironic manner, and this was the specialty of Bimal Roy to present his own variety of romanticism through his cinema.
Seeped as he was in the nuances of Bengali literature, he adopted three of the famous works of Sarat Chand as films viz., PARINEETA , BIRAJ BAHU, and DEVDAS, two of which have already seen there modern avatars. It was DEVDAS which was an affirmation of the title of tragedy king on Dilip Kumar, while PARINEETA provided a romantic side of Ashok Kumar for the public. His oeuvre continued to expand but commercial success still eluded him and it was his deconstruction of romanticism through suspense and rebirth in the form of MADHUMATI (1958) that brought him the commercial success, which a director always aspires for. A film of flawless performance, its signature song, "Main to kab se Khari Is paar" is considered by Lata Mangeshkar as among all time best 10 songs sung by her, and the music of Salil Chaudhary is perhaps his best score under his baton.
Having tested success, he now became bold enough to return to his experimentation and the result was SUJATA and BANDINI which gave the Indian cinema one of the finest actress of the by-gone era, Nutan, who till date was more of a star. Both the films were ahead of there times as SUJATA was a stark comment on the caste system of the Indian society, while BANDINI was a classical epiphany for Nutan as it had the brilliant score of Sachin Dev Burman. Sachin Da for the first time sang a full song, More Sajaan hain us paar, then this film also gave to Indian cinema Gulzar who burst on the firmament of Hindi cinema
with "Mora Gora Rung Dei de, and the angst of a sister who is left to her fate after her marriage is no where else expressed better than in BANDINI and Asha Bhonsle when she sang the song burst out in tears, the song was "Abki Baras Bhejo Bhaiya ko Babul...”
This was his last film as a director. The students of cinema who want to understand cinema of the Indian variety which sketches out the diversified milieus in stark realities in a subtle romantic manner, need therefore to study Bimal Da with great respect and reverence if a grip of things has to be made.