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7 Bengali films on the beautiful bond between siblings
Hia Datta
Aug 22, 2021

On Rakshabandhan today, brothers and sisters seal their bond all over again with the symbolic Rakhi, sharing sweets, pleasantries, warm embraces and gifts exchanged between them. A promise of a lifetime of love and looking out for each other through thick and thin binds them together, hallowed by an invisible protective shield drawing upon them.

But life, as it comes, brings its share of unpleasantries and intricacies unique to each pair of siblings. Nevertheless, when put through trial by the circumstances in life, sibling love only emerges stronger than before, and you know it will be alright somehow when your sibling has got your back after all.

Here are seven Bengali films that portray sibling bonds put through the trials and tribulations of life — as relatable as they can get in the complex modern-day world that we live in. But when you know you have your sibling to fall back on, that’s all you need to keep going on in full steam.

Pather Panchali
8.7OTTplay Rating
Apu and Durga have gone down as not just one of the most memorable siblings in the history of Bengali cinema, but also in Indian cinema at large. The poetic imagery of Satyajit Ray’s masterpiece weaves a montage of the little sights, moments and nuances of Apu’s and Durga’s bond as they soak in the little joys of life together. We could list our favourite moments from the film right now, but well we would leave that to you, for this one is in every way one of the best visual paeans to the inexplicable bond between a brother and sister, and we reckon every movie buff has their own list of Apu Durga memories from the film.
Meghe Dhaka Tara
7.7OTTplay Rating
This heart-breaking Ritwik Ghatak directorial is set in the aftermath of the partition, centering on a refugee family in the suburbs of a poverty-ridden Calcutta. Nita, played by Supriya Choudhury, does all that can be done to make ends meet for her siblings and father. A self-effacing person, her very life is in a way dedicated to her sister and two brothers, but to little value and acknowledgement, except for her elder brother Anil played by Shankar, who loves and feels for her dearly. Breaking free from the pretty frills of the sibling bond, the poignant story shares a glimpse into the complexities of the unspoken and unsung sacrifices that a sister makes for her siblings.
Sultan: The Saviour
5.8OTTplay Rating
Rakshabandhan heralds the sibling bond as one forged in love and the vow to stand by and protect each other at all times. And this 2018 Jeet-starrer builds up on that founding essence. The plot revolves around a mild-mannered Raja played by Jeet who comes to Kolkata from the suburbs with his naïve sister Disha played by Priyanka Sarkar accompanying him. The two collide with the powers of the underworld in Kolkata. But when push comes to shove, be it the brother or the sister, neither would shirk away from protecting the other at all costs.
7.5OTTplay Rating
At the heart of this National Award-winning Kaushik Ganguly directorial lies the conflict between two brothers, Indrajit, a Bengali matinee star played by Prasenjit Chatterjee and his younger brother Partho, played by Ritwik Chakraborty, who is devoted to their family. While their father’s demise brings up long-suppressed fissures in their bond to the surface on one hand, their care and concern for their sister Ila is something they both hold on to as the one unifying thread in their strained bond.
8.3OTTplay Rating
Tapas Pal plays the eponymous Saheb in this family drama; a good-hearted, vivacious young man whose heart beats for football, but beats even more for his sister and his family. If he harbours dreams of becoming a footballer professionally one day, it is ultimately secondary to his genuine concern for his sister and family’s well-being. The film stretches the imagination of the lengths a sibling is willing to go for the sake of the other. Even the most hardened viewers would be moved to tears with this sibling story with football at the center.
Basu Poribar
5.9OTTplay Rating
Starring Soumitra Chatterjee, Aparna Sen, Rituparna Sengupta, Jisshu Sengupta and Saswata Chatterjee in lead roles, the plot is based on a family reunion on the occasion of the celebration of the 50th wedding anniversary of Pranab, a retired barrister played by Soumitra Chatterjee and Manjari played by Aparna Sen. The reunion is a mishmash of bittersweet moments, harping on nostalgia of the childhood and sibling bond of Jisshu’s Pratim and Rituparna’s Priya while also delving into the deep-seated matters of the family. The homecoming of siblings, and them reconnecting with each other, is one of the defining shades of the Bosu Poribar.
7.9OTTplay Rating
This Indrasis Acharya directorial is about the siblings Subhro played by Rahul and Mou played by Sudiptaa as they navigate a family crisis after their mother passes away and their father’s health deteriorates. Mou is caught in her struggle to strike a balance between her married life and responsibilities to her natal home, while Suvro, an engineer in the US flies down to India, refusing to leave at the hour of crisis. The two meet each other at a juncture now where they are faced with the choice between pragmatism and emotionalism.

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