Shyam Benegal – the legendary director of bollywood.
By: CR Chatterji.
Shyam Benegal can be considered as one of the leading story-tellers of bollywood films. Being inspired by the works of Ray, he astonished the viewers with the film Ankur in 1974. He used Shabana Azmi in the film for the first time. The film showed how social awakening took place in Indian villages after the feudal lords oppressed the rural people. Anant Nag played the role of oppressive landlord.
In Manthan, he had shown the story of milk-dwellers in the villages in India. He showed their struggle and the story of their success based on sheer hard work. Smita Patil was sublime in the film. His film Junoon was based on Ruskin Bond’s story of Flight of Pegions. He depicted the story of India during the colonial rule. He also showed how British families were given protection by some considerate Indian families. Shashi Kapoor, Nasiruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi, all did well in their respective roles. Jennifer Kapoor played the role of a member of British family, who took shelter in the house of Shashi Kapoor.
In the film Netaji, the forgotten hero, he showed the life of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Shyam Benegal experimented with Sachin Kherekar in the lead role. He depicted the dare devil nature of Netaji. The best part of the film involved the escape of Netaji from his own house to Kabul and reaching the European countries from where he got help from leaders across the world to build his own force. Shyam Benegal depicted the lifestyle of Indians during the colonial period.
The other notable films of the legendary director include Suraj Ka Saatwa Ghora, Bhumika, Zubeida, etc. He is known for extraordinary story-telling in all his films. He received Dada Saheb Falke for his brilliant contribution to Indian films.
The intellectual viewers expect the giant director to continue making epic films in the future and educate all sections of the society with his creative style of film making which was done with success by Ray, Ghatak, and other leading directors of India.