He was one of the best superstars of Bengal cinema in his glorious years, a trustworthy character representing middle-class Bengal, a powerful gentleman icon who built a trustworthy bunker down-to-earth. The stardom brand was in stark contrast to another shining luminary of contemporary cinema in the state – the Bengali psyche as a superhero was primarily cemented in idolatry and mass frenzy.
Soumitra Chattopadhyaya – Chatterjee To the angry India – the answers to the word ‘extraordinary’, as few artists do, for so sheer simplicity, that he ignored the clicks of the image. His stardom was sensational, and yet born out of reality. He was the mascot of Peerless Satyajit Ray’s Ovuver, who worked with Ustad in 14 films, and yet, he gave the same assurance in the works of contemporary business establishments like Ajay Kar and Tarun Mazumdar. He is the recipient of Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2013) and Padma Bhushan (2004), who has also been honored with Legion d’Honner (2018) in France for his contribution to world cinema.
Importantly, the greatness of Soumitra Chattopadhyay as a screen icon will survive the test of time in Bengali populism as he had something for everyone. Because, he was not just Satyajit Reno Apu. In addition to such a nuanced portrayal, she could just be Rena Feluda and reach every audience, from eight to 80.
It took Ray to bring Soumitra’s greatness to life, and yet, the report of his first visit is a well-known story of Bengal. Ray was searching for his adult Apu in “Apur Sansar”, the final part of the Apu trilogy starting with “Pathar Panchali”. A friend introduced Soumitra to the master filmmaker, who immediately revealed to the budding actor that Appu was not a college student as per his script. Soumitra will eventually play the opposite role of Sharmila Tagore, and the rest is history.
Soumitra’s cinematic destiny is greatly influenced by Satyajit Ray’s great cinema, so a graph of the film actor’s career is charted through his most important phase of a very important film. Soumitra started with “Apur Sansar” (1959) and, over the next three decades, will act as “Devi” (1960), “Teen Kanya” (1961), “Abhijan” (1962), “Charulata” in Ray projects. “(1964),” Kapurush O Mahapurush “(1965),” Arenier Din Ratri “(1969),” Ashani Sanket “(1973),” Sonar Kella “(1974),” Anand Baba Felunath “(1978),” Hirak Rajar Deshe “(1980),” Ghar Bere “(1984),” Ganashatru “(1989) and” Shakha Prashakha “(1990).
It was a filmography that Ray, one of the best filmmakers in the world, shared with his chosen screen non-screen messenger. But if Ray had worked with Soumitra 14 times, almost every major filmmaker actor would have collaborated and even tended to repeat it. If anything, except to draw his credentials as an artist that fact is a testament to his professionalism and human nature.
Think of some other custom-made filmmakers outside of Raini working with Saurashtra, and you get the picture.
Another world icon of Bengali cinema of the time, Mrinal Sen directed Soumitra for the first time in “Punchha” (1961), and then returned to collaborate with the actor in “Pratinidhi” (1964), “Akash Kusum” (1965). ), And “Mahapratibi” (1991). Iconic Tapan Sinha directed him in projects like “Kshudhita Pashan” (1960), “Zinder Bandi” (1961), “Atka” (1984) and “Antardhan” (1992).
The mainstream Titans of his era, too, preferred to work with economic soumitra. Asit Sen directed him in “Swayambara” (1961) and Swaralipi (1961), while Ajay Kare “Otol Jolar Ahoban” (1962), “Saat Peke Bandha” (1963), “Bernali” (1963), “Kanch Kata”. “Diamonds” (1965) and “Parineeta” (1969). Tarun Mazumdar has been casting actors for years in “Ekatku Basha” (1965), “Sansar Cement” (1975), “Ganadevat” (1978), “Agomon” (1988) and O Prasad “(1991).
Most of his directors have often spoken of his unquenchable passion for his craft. It was something that convinced him that he would be as busy as ever until his last days, capturing the character’s roles with the same enthusiasm with which he played the role in his bed.
His 300-plus film career may be explained by his very adaptive quality as an actor. At home, he worked with Atanu Ghosh (“Mayurakshi”), Suman Ghosh (“Padokfap”, “Shanti Heaven”, “Dwando”, “Basu Paribar”), Parth Chakraborty (“Samantaral”) and other modern Bengali filmmakers. . Nandita Roy and Shiboprasad Mukherjee (“Posto”).
He entered the Bollywood domain twice outside Bengal. In 1986, he starred opposite Rupa Ganguly in the Hindi short film “Nirupama” based on Tagore’s story “Dena Pauna”. He also had a role in the 2002 film Hindustani Sepahi, based on Utpal Dutt’s famous Bengali play “Feriri Fauj”.
However this was a temporary departure. For the most part, his astonishing career is based on the storyline of his Bengali film. It is a working organization that has recognized him with the National Award for Best Actor (“Podokfap”). He also received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1998.
Although her greatness lies in her body work before the camera, Soumitra also tried her hand at filmmaking. His directed endeavors “Stri Ki Patra”, a telefilm based on Rabindranath Tagore’s 1987 “Strater Patra”. The film starred Rupa Ganguly and Usha Ganguly.
The legacy of the Grand Old Man of Bangladeshi cinema was established in his lifetime, as evidenced by the number of GNNV actors who followed him. The young talents of today’s Bengali film industry like Parambrat Chattopadhyay and Abir Chatterjee have shaped their careers in the line of Saurashtra, seeking stardom without losing connection with the Bengali middle class realities. These are the actors who are today known as the multiplex cinema circuit, removed from the clicks of kits and positioned as catering to refined content-driven entertainment. It’s something that Saumitra was delighted to do decades ago.
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