Tarun Majumdar: The last of the greats of Bengali cinema

MD Merajul IslamJuly 4, 2022

The legendary Tarun Majumdar stood on the stage. He had simply acquired the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award 2021. As we gave him a standing ovation, my thoughts went again to that second in life when a teenaged me was first launched to this humanist filmmaker via his timeless work, Shriman Prithviraj (1973), a Bengali bildungsroman. The hero, Rashik Lal, had instantly turn out to be my alter ego, and each lady one had a crush on, by some means resembled the heroine, Amalabala! Aside from the lead pair of Ayan Bandyopadhyay and Mahua Roychowdhury, the characters essayed by Sandhya Roy (who’d later marry Majumdar in actual life), Utpal Dutt, Satya Bandyopadhyay, Rabi Ghosh, Santosh Dutta, and Chinmoy Roy have been etched in my thoughts and coronary heart, ceaselessly.

And, there on the stage, the quick and frail, but one of many tallest of all of them, Tarun Majumdar went on to say that he was engaged on a brand new script. Such was his vivaciousness, his vitality. He stated that he was intrigued by human relationships and values, and {that a} man’s everlasting quest was to turn out to be a greater human being. Proudly moored to middle-class roots, he understood their values and essence to such a delicate extent that his movies, whereas being aesthetically wealthy, resonated with thousands and thousands leading to great box-office successes.

A nonetheless from Shriman Prithviraj.

Majumdar made Bengal proud on the Indian map as effectively. He gained 4 Nationwide Awards, seven BFJA Awards, 5 Filmfare Awards and the Padma Shri. However then, he deserved extra. In a rustic the place the Holy Trinity of Satyajit Ray-Mrinal Sen-Ritwik Ghatak overshadowed anybody and everybody, Majumdar held his personal together with fellow administrators Tapan Sinha, Ajoy Kar and Asit Sen.

A filmmaker is commonly evaluated on the premise of what number of commendable new abilities she or he might introduce to the trade. Majumdar had introduced within the likes of Moushumi Chatterjee, Mahua Roychowdhury, Ayan Bandyopadhyay, Debashree Roy and Tapas Paul to the silver display. The Bengali viewers will ceaselessly stay grateful to him for this.

Chaowa Paowa A nonetheless from Chaowa Paowa.

Unusual it could appear although, however Tarun babu’s first tryst with actors was not via newcomers. He made his debut with Chaowa Paowa (1959) starring the formidable Uttam-Suchitra pair underneath the banner of Yatrik, with two different administrators Sachin Mukherjee and Dilip Mukherjee. Moreover Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen, the opposite stalwarts Chhabi Biswas and Tulsi Chakraborty ensured that the movie was a runaway hit.

Tarun babu discovered his personal voice within the subsequent movie he directed alongside along with his Yatrik crew — Kancher Swarga (1962). A narrative about how circumstances first compel a person to give up his medical research and later places him within the sole place to save lots of a younger lady’s life. Starring the who’s who of that period: Anil Chatterjee, Pahari Sanyal, Manju Dey, Utpal Dutt, Bikash Roy, Chhaya Devi, and that includes Dilip Mukherjee himself because the protagonist, the movie fetched them the primary Nationwide Award in 1963.

Legend has it that for Yatrik’s subsequent movie Palatak (1963), Uttam Kumar wished to play the lead, however Majumdar determined in any other case. He went on to forged Anup Kumar, an iconic comic of the time, because the hero. The character was of Basanta, a bohemian who runs away from relationships. It was unthinkable in these days to forged a comic as a hero, however Tarun babu caught to his conviction. He even managed to influence V Shantaram to supply the movie.

Palatak A nonetheless from Palatak.

Tarun babu parted methods with Yatrik and went solo. His first solo movies included Alor Pipasa (1965) with Basanta Choudhury and Ek Tuku Basa (1965) with Soumitra Chattopadhyay, each movies starring Sandhya Roy as the feminine lead. Very quickly, he could be directing Balika Badhu (1967), introducing a teenaged Moushumi Chatterjee. The movie was a roaring box-office success. The opposite movies that may fetch him the Nationwide Award could be Nimantran (1972), Ganadevata (1979), and Aranya Aamaar in 1984. Ganadevata was the primary Bengali movie to win the Nationwide Award within the “Greatest In style Movie offering Healthful Leisure” class. Sansar Shimantey (1976) would win him the BFJA Award for Greatest Director.

Together with vital acclaim, Tarun babu, in contrast to the others, even the greats, managed to create box-office successes. It’s, certainly, a uncommon achievement — to bridge the hole between good cinema and hit movies. Shriman Prithviraj, Fuleswari (1974), Ganadevata, Dadar Kirti (1980), Bhalobasa Bhalobasa (1985), Apan Amaar Apan (1990), and Aalo (2003) have been main hits of their instances, that had contributed to the coffers of the Bengali movie trade. I bear in mind how I had accompanied my mother and father to a screening of Aalo on the Bijoli Cinema in south Kolkata. A night present, it was bought out.

Dadar Kirti A nonetheless from Dadar Kirti.

As I pen this obituary for one among Bengal’s prodigal sons, Tarun Majumdar is on his approach to the hospital the place his mortal stays could be handed over for the needs of medical analysis and schooling. In demise, his solely companions are Tagore’s Gitanjali and the CPI(M) social gathering flag. No candlelight marches, no flower-bouquets, nothing. He was born a typical man, he died a typical man. And between his start and demise, he lived the lifetime of a believer in human values, celebrated the middle-class, and bestowed them with dignity on celluloid.

In Tagore’s phrases, “Tobu mone rekho… Bear in mind me nonetheless, even when I am going distant… If previous love will get buried underneath a more moderen passion… If tears come to your eyes, if play involves an finish on a dreamy evening, Bear in mind me nonetheless…” Goodbye, maestro.

Ranjan Ghosh is a Bengali filmmaker whose movies embody Hrid Majharey, Rong Beronger Korhi, Ahaa Re and Mahishasur Marddini.


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