Saturday, July 21, 2012

On death anniversary of Mahanayak Uttam Kumar, Mamata Banerjee is going to give lifetime achievement awards.

Uttam Kumar. On death anniversary of Mahanayak Uttam Kumar, on 24th July, 2012, Mamata Banerjee is going to give lifetime achievement awards to veteran actors Soumitra Chatterjee, Supriya Debi and Sabitri Chatterjee for their immense contribution to Bengali cinema. Every year bengalies mourn the death of Uttam Kumar, the greatest superstar of Bengali cinema on 24th July, 1980. Few years back Uttam Kumar was seen in postage stamps. Mamta Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal also renamed the Tollygunge Metro Station as Mahanayak Uttam Kumar Metro Station. Uttam Kumar had acted in the films of all the legendary directors of the golden age including Satyajit Ray’s Nayak in 1966, Chiriakhana in 1967, Tapan Sinha’s Jhinder Bandi in 1961, Upahaar in 1955 and Jotugriha in 1964, Ajoy Kar’s Harano Sur in 1957, Saptapadi in 1961, Suno Bara Nari in 1960, Agradoot’s Bipasha in 1962, Surjo Toron in 1958, Agragami’s Sagarika in 1956, Shonkhobela in 1966, to name a few. Uttam Kumar acted opposite all the leading actresses of Bengali celluloid including Suchitra Sen, Arundhuti Debi, Manju Dey, Sabitri Chatterji, Supriya Choudhury, Mala Sinha, and others. His combination with Suchitra Sen had given everlasting classics and both of them still remains the most romantic pair in Indian silver screen. Uttam Kumar’s films were based on rich literature including Tagore’s Khokababur Protyaborton, Subodh Ghosh’s Suno Bara Nari, Samaresh Bose’s Kuhak, Sorodindu Bondhopadyay’s Chiriakhana, Shankar’s Chourangi. The films were related to different types of stories including comedy stories, tragic stories, soft romantic stories, etc. Uttam Kumar had acted in around 205 films (including bollywood films like Amanush, Anand Ashram, Choti Si Mulakat, Dooriyan, Kitaab etc., ) in a span of 35 years, and all his films had remained everlasting treasures. Out of his 205 films, around 37 of them ended up being blockbusters, around 50 were super hit films and around 50 were hit films. Actor Shatrughun Sinha in his interview before Bengali media had disclosed that when he was working in Pune Film and Television Institute, the graduates had unanimous view that Uttam Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar were the greatest superstars of celluloid and had Uttam Kumar acted in more number of bollywood films, he would have remained as great a legend as Dilip Kumar or Raj Kapoor. His films should be restored and preserved.

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