Thursday, May 8, 2008

Uttam Kumar and Manna Dey.


Uttam Kumar and Manna Dey.

By CR Chatterji.

Uttam Kumar the superstar on Bengali silver screen had brought a new dimension to the musical career of Manna Dey. Manna Dey, one of the most versatile singers of bollywood films was mainly associated with Raj Kapoor in films like Shree 420, Chori Chori, etc., during a period when Rafi dominated the world of playback singing in bollywood films.

But in spite of being a Bengali, he did not get a scope to show his skills in Bengali film songs before Uttam Kumar gave lips in the songs “ami agantuk” and “ke prothom kache asechi” in the film Shonkhobela, in 1966. The music of the film was composed by Sudhin Dasgupta. Uttam Kumar always had shown his excellence in giving lips in film songs and it did not matter whether the song was sung by Hemant Kumar or Shyamal Mitra or Rafi or Kishore Kumar.

After Shonkhobela, Manna Dey flabbergasted the audience of Bengal with his classical performance in Uttam Kumar’s Antony Firingi. The songs in the film “ami je jalsaghare, ami jamini tumi sashi he”, “champa chameli” were masterpieces where Sandhay mukherjee sung the female version for Tanuja.

The songs in the film Stri, also became superhit, including “hajartakar jharbatita”, “jemon shapinike posh manay ojha”, “ose jotoi kalo hok”, etc. The film depicted the Bengali zamindari and Uttam Kumar did a marvellous job in bringing in the aristocracy of the character.

Also the songs of Manna Dey in the film Sanyasi Raja, like “bhalobashar agun jalao”, “sashikanto tumi dekhchi”, became everlasting hit. Uttam Kumar played the role of the Bhowal Zamindar who faced a landmark trial in a case relating to identity of the sage. The other landmark films where Manna Dey contributed a lot include Choddobeshi, Nishipoddo, Chowrongi, etc.

All the skills of Manna Dey related to ghazals, Hindustani classical songs, western songs, folk songs were used in Bengali film songs and he became the uncrowned monarch in the 60s and 70s. The films and the songs should be restored.

3 comments:

Rumi said...

The bengali audience became speechless with the musical excellence of Manna Dey and Uttam Kumar in the 60s and 70s. Songs in the film Chirodiner also became superhit.
Rumi Chatterji.

Supriya said...

Uttam Kumar gave lips in such a style that viewers thought Uttam Kumar sang the songs himself. His lips in the songs "konokatha na bole", sung by Manna Dey in Jibon Mrityu was excellent by every standards.
Supriya Chatterji.

Chitta said...

Manna Dey in his interview in Television had said that Uttam Kumar in Bombay when he had gone for shooting for the film Choti Si Mulakat and asked Manna Dey to give him a sitting for rehearsing the songs of Antony Firingi, which had classical touch. Manna Dey said he had not seen that amount of commitment from any other actor.He also di not see any other actor giving the same standard of lips in songs the way Uttam Kumar had done in his long career.
CR Chatterji.