Sunday, July 24, 2011

Uttam Kumar was sublime in Saheb Bibi Golam.

Uttam Kumar was sublime in Saheb Bibi Golam.

24th July ever year is remembered for the sad demise of legendary mahanayak of Bengal, namely Uttam Kumar. Uttam Kumar died in 1980 due to a massive heart attack. He had been sublime in the film Saheb Bibi Golam.

Saheb Bibi Golam is remembered for the classic literature of eminent Bengali writer Bimal Mitra. The director Karthik Chatterjee had the monumental task of covering the major portions of the epic literature in a three hours film. In the film Uttam Kumar played the character of Bhutnath in the film. He stayed in the house of Pahari Sanyal when he had to come to Kolkata during the colonial period. Interestingly Pahari Sanyal was a Brahmo, the religion introduced by reformer Raja Rammohan Roy. His daughter Anubha Gupta was married to Uttam Kumar at an early age which she came to know at the end of the film

Uttam Kumar was an observer in the film who saw the decline of the famous Choudhury family, one of the wealthy zamindars other than the Laha family, the Dutta family, the Deb family and Mallick family. Chabi Biswas played the role of the second brother of famous Choudhury family. Nitish Mukherjee was the youngest brother. He was married to Sumitra Debi. She asked Uttam Kumar to buy different things to satisfy her husband, Nitish Mukherjee who was inclined to go to Janbazar where Baijees did mujra.

Uttam Kumar later got the job of Overseer and saw the bangles of Sumitra Debi in the walls of Choudhury Bari, meaning that she was killed by the zaminders and the body buried in the walls of the house. The zamindary declined although Chabi Biswas entered into joint collaboration with The British East India Company in respect of mines existing in Bengal and Bihar. The small characters played in the role were excellent including gharibabu played by Jahar Ganguly, hunkobabu played by Bhanu Banerjee. Uttam Kumar kept his mark amongst the other notable actors in the film including Haridhan, Kanu Banerjee, Shyam Laha and others. Robin Chatterji composed the music of the film and gave landmark songs to Sandhya Mukherjee including “dheere bandhu dheere”.

The film ended up being a blockbuster in 1956, and noted actor, director Guru Dutt was inspired to make a hindi film Saheb Biwi Aur Ghulam in 1962. Guru Dutt played the role of Uttam Kumar, Wahida Rehman played the role of Anubha Gupta and Meena Kumari played the role of Sumitra Debi. Uttam Kumar’s films contributed a lot during the 50s and 60s in inspiring bollywood directors making hindi versions of Uttam Kumar’s films.

The film Saheb Bibi Golam, a masterpiece in itself should be preserved and restored.

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