Here are Bengali films that feature a melange of Indian and Bangladeshi artistes
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Here are 5 Bengali films that feature a melange of Indian and Bangladeshi artistes
HIa Datta
Aug 09, 2021

Bangladesh and West Bengal (India), have been severed into two different political entities for many years now, but the two Bengals share unique ties through language, songs, literature, and other cultural aspects. Both the countries have a huge talent bank in the cultural field from either side of the border. The political incision, albeit irreparable, finds a creative and cultural foil and attempt at harking back to the common yet different culture at the core of the two nations. A substantial number of Bengali films have been made, pooling the talents from Indian and Bangladesh to foster healthy cultural solidarity of sorts, cutting through national boundaries. And, several such films have been very successful projects at the box office too.

Here we list 5 films where creators and performers from both countries have transcended political divisions to unite and culturally collaborate for the cause of cinema, contributing very significantly to the overall success of the films.


Padma Nadir Majhi
8.6OTTplay Rating
Direction: Gautam Ghosh. Cast: From Bangladesh: Raisul Islam Asad, Champa; From India: Rupa Ganguly, Utpal Dutt, Rabi Ghosh. Based on a novel by the famous Bengali writer, Manik Bandyopadhyay (India). The film is set in undivided Bengal. Kuber (played by Asad) is a fisherman who has a differently-abled wife, a teenage daughter, and another child. He somehow manages his family by fishing and ferrying in the river Padma. The river is very unpredictable and often takes a destructive form with tides and storms. Kuber falls for his sister-in-law Kapila (Rupa Ganguly), who has a troubled marriage. In the delta of the river Padma, there is an island Moynadwip, where a colony is set up by a local trader Hussain Miyan (Utpal Dutt). Hussain Miyan is looking for settlers for the island. And, the island is mysterious, a kind of utopia even, cleansed of religious/ social /moral prejudices, but here nature is at its rawest, wildest avatar. The deserters don't want to return to the island after having fled from it. Meanwhile, Kuber's village is almost destroyed by a storm. He is falsely accused in a case of theft and also enchained by sprouting marital and social problems. Desperate to start a new life, Kuber leaves for Moynadeep, accompanied by Kapila. The film depicts Padma as a metaphor for the raw, unbridled, untamed force of life. The film has a complicated plot populated with many complex characters. Beautifully photographed by the director Gautam Ghosh himself, and lined with fine performances by Asad, Champa, Rupa Ganguly, this one is a shining instance of Bengali cinema at its best.
7.7OTTplay Rating
Direction: Gautam Ghosh. Cast: From India: Prasenjit Chatterjee; From Bangladesh: Kusum Sikder. In a Bangladeshi village, near the Indian border, Muntasir Chowdhury Badal (Prasenjit Chatterjee) works as a school teacher, living with his wife (Kusum Sikder) and only daughter. When his daughter falls ill, she is advised to be taken to a big city for effective treatment. The Bangladeshi couple now finds themselves at the crossroads of two choices - either to go to Dhaka or India. As the daughter's condition worsens, the couple go to India. It ironically comes across as easy for them to cross the river Ichamati, and reach India. With the help of an Indian doctor, who is an old friend of Muntasir, the daughter gets admitted to an Indian hospital, but based on forged documents that declare the daughter and her parents as Indians and Hindus. Will the couple succeed at arranging proper treatment for their girl? Prasenjit delivers a stellar performance as the school teacher. As his wife, Kusum is convincing as the worried mother forced to feign an alien culture. Sensitive direction and brilliant cinematography are the other high points of this film.
7.4OTTplay Rating
Direction: Kaushik Ganguly (India). Cast: From India: Abir Chatterjee, Kaushik Ganguly; From Bangladesh: Jaya Ahsan. Padma (Jaya Ahsan) is a widow staying in a village in Bangladesh at the bank of the river Ichamati. She rescues Naseer (Abir Chatterjee), whom she found lying unconscious at the riverside. To save him from being jailed for illegal entry to Bangladesh, she declares him as her cousin. But Ganesh (Kaushik Ganguly), a local influential old in the village, sees through her bluff and threatens to expose the truth unless Padma marries him. Padma is in love with Naseer, who must be safely sent back to India. Ganesh agrees to arrange for the safe passage of Naseer to India, on the only condition that Padma marries him. What comes up is a delicately crafted love triangle coupled with engaging storytelling and top-notch performances by the three leads.
Beder Meye Josna
7.1OTTplay Rating
Direction, story, script, dialogues: Tojammel Haque Baku (Bangladesh). Cast: From India: Chiranjeet, Shambhu Bhattacharya; From Bangladesh: Saifuddin Ahmed, and Anju Ghosh (Bangladesh/India) Music: Abu Taher (Bangladesh). Playback singers: Runa Laila, Andrew Kishore, Sabina Yasmin (all from Bangladesh). This one is a fantasy film in the "Jatra '' tradition (Jatra is an immensely popular theatre form that is staged on all -side -open platforms). The film was originally made in Bangladesh in 1989, and remade in India in 1991 and became a huge hit. The beautiful girl Josna (Anju Ghosh) is a "bedeni '', an expert in dealing with snakes who also specializes in the treatment of victims of snake venoms based on traditional practices. When a handsome prince (Chiranjeet) gets struck by a venomous snake, Josna saves him from certain death. Romance blossoms between the two. When he comes to know about their romance, the king becomes furious. The king disapproves of the matchmaking of a snake catcher with the prince. What follows is a long and difficult struggle of the lovelorn couple to win the approval of the king for their betrothal. The story is replete with twists and fantastic developments. And, more importantly, it is also a musical, true to its folk theatre’s tradition blended with a commercial flavour for the tradition of Bengali cinema in India back then. The romance bridging the seemingly insurmountable chasm of social and class difference is what sets it apart from the usual folk-based films of the time.
Moner Manush
8.2OTTplay Rating
Direction, script, music: Gautam Ghosh (India). Cast: From India: Prasenjit Chatterjee, Paoli Dam; From Bangladesh: Raisul Islam Asad, Gulsan Ara Champa. Based on the novel of the famous Bengali poet, novelist, story writer, Sunil Ganguly (India), this ambitious project is a biopic of Lalon Fakir, the internationally revered spiritual leader, philosopher, mystic, songwriter cum music- composer, who created his own liberal spiritual sect. Lalon Fakir was a visionary and a staunch denouncer of division based on religion, caste, or social differences. He even influenced even Rabindra Nath Tagore. Born as a Hindu, Lalon is abandoned when he is severely ill from deadly smallpox. He is saved by a Muslim weaver family. He follows his musical talent and eventually forms a spiritual sect gathering social downtrodden and outcasts. He faces severe opposition from orthodox religious communities. Yet, undaunted, Lalon goes on to establish and sustain his "baul akhara" in Kustia, now in Bangladesh. The spirited lady Komli becomes his principal disciple (Paoli Dam). The film follows the major incidents in Lalon's life and is adorned with songs composed by him. You'll discover a different shade of the Bengali superstar Prasenjit Chatterjee in the lead role of Lalon. Along with him, Paoli Dam, as usual, delivers a stirring act. The philosophies of Lalon Fakir are musically conveyed through his songs in the film which is conveyed in simple language but only to exude and express the profound vistas of the creator's genius.

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