Every form of art has its own Golden Age. It gave a new dimension in the Bengali cinema when the journey started with the legendary directors like Hiralal sen, Satyajit Roy, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen and so many gems of our industry. In the 50’s the Bengali cinema also gave birth to the stars like Uttam Kumar, Soumitra Chatterjee, Suchitra Sen, and many more. The upliftment of Bengali cinema started when Roy’s Pather Panchali won the award of best human document in Cannes Film festival in 1956 and from this achievement the Bengali cinema appeared for nominations in international platforms. In the 70’s Mrinal Sen depicted the contemporary social unrest and the rise of marxism in West Bengal. His Akaler Sondhane won the silver bear in Berlin in 1981. In the same year Aparna Sen introduced herself as a feminist film maker with her first film Chowrangee lane. Satyajit Roy received an oscar for lifetime’s work before his death on 1992.
But the 90’s saw the rise of an intellectual director Rituporno Ghosh who has returned the urban middle class Bengali audience back to cinemas. Many young directors and actors came into prominence in the same period of time like Aparna sen, Goutam ghosh, Anjan Dutta, Srijit Mukherjee, budhhayan banerjee and many more. Goutam Ghosh , already a national award winning director made a revolution in the Bengali industry by introducing Aiswariya Rai as the character of Tagore,s binodini in chokher bali.the critically acclaimed movies like Padma Nadir Majhi, Unishe April, Dahan, Bariwali, Yugant had snached the limelight.
In the year 2000 the market for Bengali films had expanded to a 340 million Bengali audience in Bangladesh, West Bengal, Tripura, and Assam. The decade also saw the emergence of some seekly made commercial films in west Bengal most of which are copied from typical southindian films. At the same time the industry continued to produce many offbeat art house films like abohoman, autograph, utsab, khela, the Japanese wife, Antaheen, Baishe Srabon, Ranjana ami r asbo na, Meghe Dhaka Tara and many more. It is no exaggeration that for the last two years tollywood films has made its place higher than bollywood film industry.
“We are going through the metamorphosis for better” says one of the most talented directors Srijit Mukherjee. Its really a pleasure that the talented and well educated directors have stepped into industry and are making smart intellectual and creative Bengali films which are a different brand all together. Of course the commercial ventures too have shown a distinct change in pattern in the form of smartness and gloss. The post 2010 history is just a continuation of what had already been triggered from the earlier decade. It’s also a reflection of the rapid changing progress in the world cinema.
It’s really good that the new directors are continuously doing experiments with their movies and thought coming out of its own comfortable zones. They have turned a few separate genres of literature into films. The issues are taken from life society and time and are presented in the silver screen which the audience relates the most and here lies the universality of the movies which brings the success of Bengali cinema in Indian cinemas.