Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Revisiting the film Shankhabela where Bosonto Choudhury superseded Uttam Kumar .

Uttam Kumar Shankhabela Bosonto Choudhury superseded Uttam Kumar in Agragami’s epic film Shankhobela. The film was released in the year 1966 and ended up being a blockbuster. There was lot of history behind the film. Sudhin Dasgupta, the composer of music in the film for the first time used Manna Dey to sing for Bengali superstar Uttam Kumar. All the songs in the film sung by Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar became super hit. Some of them included “ke pratham kache esechi”, picturised in the romantic scenario of Maithon amidst river Damodar, “ami agantuk ami barta dilaam”, “aaj mon cheyeche ami hariye jabo”, to name a few. As far as Bosonto Choudhury was concerned, he was one of the competitors of Uttam Kumar other than Bikash Roy and Astiboron, who had started their careers with Uttam Kumar. Bosonto Choudhury acted in lesser number of films, as he only signed those films which suited his culture, aristocracy and education. Therefore from his first film Mahaprashthaner Pothe, his performance in noted films used to depict aristocracy legacy of Bengal that was left behind by Chabi Biswas. In Shonkhobela, he played the role of the doctor, who treated Uttam Kumar’s son, after Uttam Kumar left his Madhabi. Madhabi could not compromise with Uttam Kumar’s fast life, full of parties and hard drinks, which was necessary for the success of his marketing career. She left the house of Uttam Kumar and worked in a school to upbring her child. Bosonto Choudhury showed compassion to Madhabi, and understood her social standing while treating the child. The story of her life was told to him by his assistant played by Mrinal. The child had to be treated and operation had to be carried out which the signing of bond by the guardian. Bosonto Choudhury compelled the father of the child Uttam Kumar to come and sign the bond. He scolded Uttam Kumar for remaining carefree about his son who was terribly sick. Bosonto Choudhury’s astounding personality in the film brought back the marital peace of Uttam Kumar and Madhabi Muherjee who stayed separately after the differences were made. The viewers appreciated Uttam Kumar’s brilliant performance in the role of a romantic husband which he depicted with highest amount of maturity. Uttam Kumar’s romantic style of performance had always created a benchmark in the world of romantic acting and that was the reason why Oscar Winning director Satyajit Ray had considered Uttam Kumar as the greatest matinee idol, fulfilling the aspirations of numerous middle-class Indians. But some way down the line, Bosonto Chouhdury superseded Uttam Kumar with his aristocrat performance and at the end of the film received higher accolades from the critics and educated section of the society. Both Uttam Kumar and Bosonto Choudhury had immense contribution in Bengali classic films, and their space had remained empty after 50 years of the completion of the films. For those reasons Shonkhobela should be preserved and restored.

No comments: