Directors like Parthopratim Choudhury never got their dues.
Directors of intellectual films like Partho Pratim Choudhury never got the recognition that they deserved. Neither were they associated with neo-realistic directors like Satyajit Ray and Hrithik Ghatak, nor got similar recognition like Tapan Sinha or Ajoy Kar.
Yet he was a path-breaker with his brilliant direction in the film Chayasurjo. The film was based on the classic literature of Asha Purna Devi. Among the two daughter of a Bengali middle class family, the younger daughter due to her ugly appearance was always rebuked by the family members.
She grew up and created her own chain of thoughts. Sharmila Tagore played the challenging role. Her elder sister received good education was also got married to a solvent person having recognition in society. While the person Sharmila loved namely Arun Mukherjee, was still looking for a job.
Arun Mukherjee got a job at last, but he became extremely and before solemnizing their marriage his entire relationship with Sharmila was burnt with his ashes. The tragic end of the film left the viewers speechless in the halls.
The entire ill-treatment towards Sharmila was countered by the poet in the film played by Nirmal Kumar. He was compassionate towards his brother’s daughter and found novelty in the creations of Sharmila Tagore who was apparently discarded even by her own mother played by Malina Debi. When at the end of the film Sharmila took her father’s money to complete the cremation of her husband Arun Mukherjee, all the family members accused her of stealing money when she disclosed the purpose for which the money was spend.
Films like Chayasurjo highlight the depth of thought of Bengali directors of 50s and 60s, which were matchless. Partho Pratim Choudhury was even sublime with his creative direction in the films Hongsho Mithun, Palonko, etc. He even did cast Uttam Kumar in the role of Ghanada later in the 70s, in a role which was a departure from his matinee idol image.
Viewers of bollywood films who had recognized Sharmila Tagore’s depth of acting through her performances in Gulzar’s films like Mausam, Namkeen and other notable films like Anand Ashram, Dooriyan, must watch Chaya Surjo which can be considered as the most dynamic performance of Sharmila Tagore in her entire life.
Films of Partho Pratim Choudhury should be restored and displayed in the film institutes of the country for the new generations who have visions towards making innovative films.