It’s one in all life’s biggest ironies that Ritwik Ghatak who’s right this moment one thing of a cult determine in Bengal was so little understood and appreciated throughout his lifetime. Even though right this moment his movies have gained a lot important acclaim, the very fact stays that of their time they ran to primarily empty homes in Bengal. Ghatak’s movies challenge a singular
sensibility. They’re usually good, however nearly all the time flawed.
Born in Dhaka (now in Bangladesh), the partition of Bengal and the next division of a tradition was one thing that haunted Ghatak endlessly. Becoming a member of the left-wing Indian Individuals’s Theatre Affiliation (IPTA), he used to work for a couple of years as a playwright, actor and director. When IPTA break up into factions, Ghatak turned to filmmaking.
By and huge Ghatak’s movies revolve round two central themes: the expertise of being uprooted from the idyllic rural milieu of East Bengal and the cultural trauma of the partition of 1947. His first movie, Nagarik (1952) weaved the oppressive story of a younger man, his futile seek for a job and the erosion of his optimism and idealism as his household sinks into abject poverty and his love affair too turns bitter. Ghatak then accepted a job with Filmistan Studio in Bombay however his ‘completely different’ concepts didn’t go down effectively there. He did nonetheless write the scripts of Musafir (1957) and Madhumati (1958) for Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Bimal Roy respectively, the latter turning into an all time evergreen hit.
After this temporary stint adopted by his comeback to his good previous Calcutta, he made Ajantrik (1958) a few taxi driver in a small city in Bihar and his car, an previous Chevrolet jalopy. An assortment of passengers provides the movie a wider body of reference and offered conditions of drama, humor and irony.
Nonetheless, his “magnum opus” occurs to be none apart from Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960), the primary movie in a trilogy, inspecting the socio-economic implications of partition. The protagonist Nita (performed by Supriya Chowdhury) is the breadwinner in a refugee household of 5. Everybody exploits her and the pressure proves an excessive amount of. She succumbs to
tuberculosis. In an unforgettable second, the dying Nita cries out “I wish to stay…”, whereas the digicam pans throughout the mountains, thereby accentuating the indifference and eternity of nature even because the echo reverberates over the shot.
Complexities however, Meghe Dhaka Tara reaches out to the viewers with its directness, its simplicity, and its distinctive stylistic use of melodrama. Melodrama as a authentic dramatic kind has continued to play a significant position in rural Indian theatre and people dramatic varieties. Ghatak goes again to those roots in his presentation of a well-recognized battle for survival, which has misplaced its dramatic drive and pathos by means of repetition in actual life.
In Meghe Dhaka Tara, day-to-day occasions rework into excessive drama: Nita’s tormented romance is intensified with the cruel sweep of the whiplash on the soundtrack; Shankar’s track of religion in a second of despair reaches the peak of emotional give up with Nita’s voice becoming a member of his and Nita’s urge to stay turns into a common sound of affirmation reverberating in Nature, amidst the distant peaks of the Himalayas.
The three principal girls characters on this movie embody the standard facets of female energy. The heroine, Nita, has the preserving and nurturing high quality; her sister, Gita, is the sensual girl; their mom represents the merciless facet. The incapacity of Nita to mix and comprise all these qualities is the approaching supply of her tragedy.
Moreover, right here Ghatak tries to delve deep into our roots and traditions and uncover a common dimension inside it. And for the primary time, he says he experimented with the methods of overtones. Within the movie, Ghatak succeeds in attaining a grand totality by means of an intricate however harmonious mixing of every half with the entire within the internal
material of the movie. Meghe Dhaka Tara transcends into an ideal murals that enriches and transforms the visible photos into metamorphic significations…
The music within the movie completely intermingles with the visuals, none dislodging the opposite be it a outstanding orchestration of a hill motif with a feminine moaning or a staccato cough with a surging track.
Right here, it might be related to say that Ghatak weaves a parallel narrative evoking the celebrated Bengali legends of Durga who’s believed to descend from her mountain retreat each autumn to go to her dad and mom and that of Menaka. This double focus, condensed within the determine of Neeta, is rendered but extra complicated on the extent of the
movie language itself by means of elaborate, at instances non-diegetic sound results working alongside or as commentaries on the picture ( e.g. the chorus Ai go Uma kole loi, i.e. Come to my arms, Uma, my little one, used by means of the latter a part of the movie, esp. on the face of the rain-drenched Neeta shortly earlier than her departure to the sanatorium).
This method permits the movie to transcend its story by opening it our in the direction of the realm of fantasy and to the conventions of cinematic realism (e.g. evoked within the Calcutta sequences).
“Meghe Dhaka Tara” was adopted with Komal Gandhar (1961), regarding two rival touring theatre firms in Bengal and Subarnarekha (1965). The final is a unusually disturbing movie utilizing melodrama and coincidence as a kind fairly than
His subsequent movie, Titash Ekti Nadir Naam (1973), finished for a younger Bangladesh producer occurs to be specializing in the life and eventual disintegration of a fishing group on the Titash. Nonetheless, this epic saga was accomplished after many issues on the taking pictures stage together with his collapse resulting from tuberculosis and was a industrial failure.
Notably, Jukti Takko Aar Gappo (1974), essentially the most autobiographical and allegorical
of his movies, was made simply earlier than his premature demise. Right here, he himself performed the primary position of Nilkanta, an alcoholic mental. The movie has been spoken about in critique circle for Ghatak’s gorgeous use of the wide-angle lens to most potent impact.
Sadly for Ghatak, his movies had been largely unsuccessful. Many remaining unreleased for years, he deserted nearly as many initiatives as he accomplished. Finally the depth of his ardour, which gave his movies their energy and emotion, took their toll on him, as did tuberculosis and alcoholism. Nonetheless he has left behind a restricted, however
subtly wealthy and complex physique of labor that no severe scholar of Indian Cinema can dare ignore.