(Last Updated on : 09-08-2014)
It was 1890, when the seed of Bengali movie was sowed .Hirala sen is considered to be the first Bengali film makers of the silent era. The first Bengali silent movie was Billwamangal (1919). Bhramar, Hariraj and Buddhadev are impressive. His longest film was titled Alibaba and the Forty Thieves. Natir Puja, directed by Rabindranath Tagore
, starred students of Shantiniketan
. The film was, as a matter of fact, the recording of a dance drama composed by Tagore in 1926. Bengali cinema has led in subject matter from the 1920s till the middle of the 1940s
While speaking of the talkie era the first Bengali movie was Denapaona released in1931.Jamai Shasthi
was released in1931is worth watching. Debaki Bose's most memorable film till date remains to be Chandidas that was made in the year 1932. this is about the love between the poet and a washer woman. This was one of the landmark films because of its sound recording. Rajrani Meera , released in 1933, was directed by Devki bose. Devdas, a bengali film based on Sharat Chandra's novel came out in 1935. Bhagya Chakra, Prafulla are other memorable movies of 1935.
Amargeeti, byabadhan, Daktar is the movies that were released in 1940. Bideshini, A film by Premendra Mitra
was released in 1944. Biraj Bou which starred Chhabi Biswas
, Tulsi Chakraborty came out in1946. Hemen Gupta made a film called Byallis or 42 in 1949. It was based on a true incident of Medinipur, West Bengal
After the 1930s and 1940s Bengali films took another step forward in the arena of filmmaking with the help of Satyajit Ray
, Bimal Roy
, Ritwik Ghatak
Chinnamul (1950), directed by Nemai Ghose, set during the partition of India
. Censorship and police interference accompanied the film. Sharey Chuattar (1953) was directed by Nirmal Dey. Pather Panchali (1955) by Satyajit Ray is of immense importance. It took three years to be completed. It was a landmark film in the history of Bengali films. The film has two sequels: Aporajito (1956) and Apur Sansar (1959). Shapmochan, another important movie in 1955, was directed by Sudhir Mukherjee. Kabuliwala, a Tapan Sinha
film, was released in 1957.
Moreover movies, such as, Teen Kanya, Devi, Aranyer Din Ratri
, Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne
, Hirak Rajar Deshe
, Neel Akasher Nichey, Chorus, Anatreen, Mrigoya (the first film of Mithun Chakrborty), Akaler Sandhane, etc are also worth watching.
Another landmark film in the history of Bengali film is Meghe Dhaka Tara by Ritwik Ghatak. The film witnessed superb performances by Anil Chatterjee
and Supriya Devi
. Along the commercial vein films like, Harano Sur, Jiban Mrityu, Dui Bhai, Jhinder Bandi, Shaptapadi, Deep Jwele Jayi, Saat Paake Bandha, Sonar Kella,Dhonyi Meye, Ogo Bodhu Sundari and a host of films were being simultaneously produced.
Around 1980s the Bengali film industry went through crises but the films of Gautam Ghose
, Sandip Ray, Rituparno Ghose and Aparna Sen
revived the industry. Besides the hardcore commercial films innovative movies were welcomed open heartedly by the Bengali cine-goers.
Contemporary Bengali films are very close to its audience and people can easily incorporate themselves with it. Today's heroes like Dev, Jeet, Rahul, Sayan, Parambrata are very contemporary and stylised to attract much attention of the youth. Films like Chirodini Tumi je Amar, Challenge, Wanted, Fighter, Dui Prithivi, Paglu, Bong Connection, are very close to Bengali cine- watchers.