Being a Bengali, I will boast about my culture always. And Bengali films are an indispensable part of the rich Bengali culture. Yes, we are the people of poems, movies, journals, short stories, novels, music, and obviously food. And when it comes to films, the Bengali Industry has given masterpieces to the world that will always be remembered. Ask anyone who has little knowledge about movies and you will know the influence of Bengali movies and movie makers in the Indian Cinema aka world cinema. Yes, it was Satyajit Ray who planned to make a movie with extra-terrestrials, and that was made by Steven Spielberg later. You all know the spectacular movie, E.T.
Today, I am going to tell you about top 5 Bengali movies from my list that you should watch once in your lifetime. if you don’t watch them, you are not a real movie buff. Have a look-
- The Apu Trilogy (1955, 1956, 1959)
Director: Satyajit Ray
Based on the famous novel, ‘Pather Panchali’, Satyajit Ray created the masterpiece in 1955 with the central character, ‘Apu’. In the next year, he brought the teenage ‘Apu’ on screen in ‘Aparajito’and finally, in 1959, ‘Apur Sansar’ was the culmination of the trilogy. From the cinematography to the casting, ‘Pather Panchali’ has set a milestone in the world of cinema. And the actors! They acted with their eyes, dialogues, gestures, and everything. Don’t forget, it was ‘Apur Sangsar’ where two legends made their debut, Soumitra Chatterjee, and Sharmila Tagore. ‘Pather Panchali’ was honored with the National Award in 1955. Later, it also won an award in the Cannes Film Festival and also got the nomination in BAFTA.
- The ‘Gupi-Bagha’ Series (1969, 1980)
Director: Satyajit Ray
Making movies for children is the most challenging task in a director’s life. Telling something serious, wrapped in fun is really difficult and none can do that better than Satyajit Ray. Whether it is a message against the war in ‘Gupi Byne Bagha Byne’ or showing the end of tyrant king in ‘Hirak Rajar Deshe’, he did it brilliantly. Not only the kids, but these movies are must-watch for the adults. And how can you forget about the immortal songs and music! The first movie has created a record in the history of Bengali cinema, by running for 51 weeks! ‘Hirak Rajar Deshe’ got the National Awards in three categories: the Best Music Direction and the Best Lyrics for ‘Aha Ki Ananda Akashe Batashe’ (Satyajit Ray) and the Best Male Playback Singer (Anup Ghoshal).
- Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960)
Director: Ritwik Ghatak
‘Dada, Aami Banchte Chai’ (‘Brother, I want to survive’)- this is the dialogue that drives the film to its ultimate culmination. Basically, ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ is the part of a trilogy that includes two other movies, ‘Komal Gandhar’ and ‘Subarnalekha’ and all these movies are based on the situation of Bengal after the partition and on the refugee issue. The way Ghatak portrayed the issue will create a deep impression on your mind.
- Akaaler Sandhane (1980)
Director: Mrinal Sen
This movie is a visual treat to understand the genius of Mrinal Sen. And that is all because of the strong storyline. Actually, the film had three gems in it- the story (when past confronts the present), outstanding acting of Smita Patil and obviously, the great direction by Mrinal Sen. This movie must be on your must-watch list.
- The Feluda Series (1974, 1979)
If you ask any Bengali the address, 21 Rajani Sen Road, Ballygunge in Kolkata, everyone will blindly tell you whose house is there. Yes, it’s our dear Feluda. And if you want them to watch on the big screen, these are the two movies you should scene. The genius of Satyajit, unforgettable portrayal of Feluda by Soumitra Chatterjee and the outstanding acting of Santosh Dutta as Lalmohan Ganguly aka Jatayu will make you thrilled till the end.
Being a Satyajit Ray fan, I have included many of his movies in this list. But, you can’t forget the genius, Rituporno Ghosh. Her works require special mention. From her debut movie ‘Hirer Angti’ to the last movie, ‘Sattyanweshi’, Ghosh spent a celebrated life with masterpieces only. The Bengal aka Indian Film industry won’t forget her ever and will always miss her to be deprived of more.
Let us know in the comment section about your favorite Bengali movie.