Friday, August 27, 2010

Uttam Kumar's stylish andaz was captured by Ray in Nayak.

Uttam Kumar’ stylish andaz was captured by Ray in Nayak.

Superstar Uttam Kumar’s stylish andaz was captured by Satyajit Ray in the film Nayak. The film was made in 1966 at a time when Uttam Kumar became a cult figure in Bengal.

The charishma of a great director lies in the ability to predict happenings. Satyajit Ray showed in the film that Uttam Kumar, the character Arindam Mukherjee, a superstar in tollygunge film industry was going to New Delhi via Rajdhani Express to collect National Award. Very significantly in 1967, Uttam Kumar received the National Award for the best actor for his epic performance in the films Chiriakhana and Anthony Firingi.

Uttam Kumar related his experiences of acting in stage and also in films before Sharmila Tagore who played the role of a journalist in the film. He related his experience of Shankarda, who was an elderly character who encouraged him to work in stage rather than working in films. He died and that led Uttam Kumar to accept an offer in films. He related the experience of working with a senior actor Mukunda Das, played by eminent actor Bireshwar Sen, who scolded him in his first shot, and subdued his natural acting with his theatrical style of performance. Later on when Uttam Kumar became a superstar and that person jobless, he came to him to get role in films.

Uttam Kumar was shown to drown in quick sand full of money, in his dreams and returned back to the canteen to continue with his interview. He also told the story of Sumita Sanyal, a young woman who came to him to get a role in any of the films. She came at night, and Uttam Kumar asked her to return back with appointment on another day. There were many character artists in the film including Bharati Devi, Jamuna Singha, Subrata Sen Sharma, Satya Banerjee, Kamu Mukherjee and others, who played the roles of co-passengers in the film who had travelled with him and tried to come close to the superstar in the train.

Satyajit Ray captured the huge stylish mannerism of Uttam Kumar in the film. He travelled in the train with style, ate the food in style, drank Whisky in style and communicated with heroic andaz. Ray in his personal interview had also confessed that a style icon like Uttam Kumar could never be re-born in India. He came, he saw and conquered. Ray’s film Nayak received national and international awards. Uttam Kumar acted in only 2 films of Satyajit Ray, but both the films had became landmarks in Indian film history. The film Nayak should be preserved and restored.

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