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From Apur Sansar to Bela Seshe: Soumitra Chatterjee’s immortal characters

Raktim Das

Raktim Das
Jun 25, 2021

Some of Soumitra Chatterjee's best creations

Soumitra Chatterjee was an actor, renowned throughout the world, for his incredible performances in Bengali film industry. Slipping into the skin of the characters one after the other, he fleshed out the roles with his nuanced and realistic portrayal. Having appeared in more than 350 films, he had numerous awards and recognitions in his bag, with the most notable ones being the Dada Saheb Phalke Award (2012), the highest honour in Indian cinema, and France's highest award, the Legion of Honour (2018).

We present to you some of the best creations of this artiste extraordinaire.

Apur Sansar
8.6OTTplay Rating
The last instalment of the Apu Trilogy, the movie is a Satyajit Ray masterpiece. Impeccable direction, flawless cinematography, a soulful script and the touch of Soumitra Chatterjee’s magic on screen – Apur Sansar has it all. Continuing with the tale of Apu, the movie focuses on his marriage with Aparna and his life post-wedding. A combination of love, sacrifice and tragedy, the movie brings reality to the screen. A heart-rendering performance by Soumitra as Apurba, and Sharmila Tagore as Aparna, makes it even more touching.
Hirak Rajar Deshe
9.3OTTplay Rating
Sequel to Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, it follows the story of Goopy and Bagha as they get entangled into another adventure in the kingdom of diamonds. On coming to know about the oppressive Hirak Raja, they join forces with a local schoolteacher, Udayan Pandit, to bring the king down with their magic. As the schoolteacher, Soumitra Chatterjee is exceptional with many terming it as one of his best performances till date. The movie was widely acclaimed and unanimously praised.
8.8OTTplay Rating
Adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s novella titled Nashtanirh by Satyajit Ray, the movie testimonies the journey of young Charulata, as she navigates the rough waters of her marital life, after falling in love with her husband’s cousin Amal and tries to build the broken nest once again. With Soumitra Chatterjee as Amal and Madhabi Mukherjee as Charulata, it is an impressive tale of love and separation.
Aranyer Din Ratri
8.6OTTplay Rating
The movie chronicles how a trip to the forest turns into a path of self-discovery for four friends, as they realise their stark ignorance towards certain facets of life. A mirrored portrayal of the youth, the movie uses subtle intricate devices to get the message across to the audience about man and his nature, under the over looming shadow of the forest. Having a stellar cast of Soumitra Chatterjee as Ashim, Sharmila Tagore as Aparna, Subendhu Chatterjee as Sanjoy and Rabi Ghosh as Shekhar, the movie is a treat to watch and yet another Ray classic.
Sonar Kella
8.6OTTplay Rating
The movie is based on a short story written by Satyajit Ray, about a private investigator Feluda. It narrates the story of a seven-year-old, Mukul, who starts having flashbacks about his previous lifetime and gets kidnapped for remembering the location of a treasure. This calls upon the entry of Feluda and his gang to save the day. Playing the iconic role of Pradosh C Mitter, Soumitra breathes life into fan-favourite Feluda. Granting a certain gravitas and relatability, he makes the character very personable. Sonar Kella became a ravaging hit, winning Ray as many as two National Awards.
Bela Seshe
8.9OTTplay Rating
One of Soumitra Chatterjee’s recent works, Bela Seshe speaks about the institution of marriage, and the near-sightedness that plagues modern relationships. It is about an elderly couple, who suddenly decide to part ways after 50 years of marital bliss. Through an emotional recollection of their past, they re-discover and renew faith in their marriage, imparting valuable lessons to their children and the viewers in the process. A beautiful family film, it is bound to leave an imprint in the minds of the audience.
7.6OTTplay Rating
A modern-age drama, the movie captures the story of a conflict between grandparents and parents for the custody of young Posto, as they engage in a legal battle for the child. Essaying the role of the grandfather, Soumitra Chatterjee gives a soulful performance that would make your heart ache. Directed by Shiboprasad Mukherjee and Nandita Ray, it is worth your time.
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