Thursday, August 6, 2009

Review of Uttam Kumar's film Kamallata.

Review of Uttam Kumar’s film Kamallata.

Harishadhon Dasgupta took a big challenge in making a film on Sarat Chandra Chatterji’s classic literature Kamallata. Uttam Kumar played the role of Sarat Chandra himself named (Srikanto) in the film. Suchitra Sen played the role of Kamallata while Nirmal Kumar played the role of a muslim poet called Gahar Goshai.

A farmhouse in the districts of West Bengal was used by Harishadhan Dasgupta to portray a baisnav akhra (the place where devotees of God Vishnu stay together). Suchitra Sen was subjected to unrest in her family after her relationship with Biren Chatterji had been criticized and joined the Baishnav Akhra. Nirmal Kumar, the poet, wrote Ramayana in new style, and also wrote songs devoted to God Vishnu inspite of being a muslim.

Pahari Sanyal and other elders in the akhra appreciated the literary work of Nirmal Kumar and his monetary contribution for the development of the charitable institution. Uttam Kumar was his friend and visited the place a number of times and came to know the story of Suchitra Sen. The other members of the institution were narrow minded and just because Suchitra Sen communicated with Nirmal Kumar, asked her to leave the place.

Nirmal Kumar died at the end of the film and gave all his property to the Institution. Uttam Kumar took Suchitra Sen from the place and reached her to safe place in Kolkata. Sarat Chandra Chatterji had shown that tolerance of every faith was the actual realization based on which the meaning of religion could be understood.

Nirmal Kumar received BFJA award for his brilliant performance in the film. He gave excellent lips in Shyamal Mitra’s devotional song (baishnavgeeti) “o mon kokhon shuru” and “mane na e mon”. Robin Chatterji the music director of the film showed his brilliance in composing devotional songs as well.
The film did excellent business after release in 1969 and still remains an inspiration for new directors in making films with classic literature. The film and music of the film should be restored.

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