There was a time when Bengali Film industry had to struggle for its existence. As the industry entered the 70’s and 80’s it embarked on a dark era when cheap techniques and B Grade scripts were all that it had to offer. Transition seemed most unlikely. The directors were comfortable capitalizing on the viewers from mofussil or rural districts of West Bengal. Anybody watching the industry closely could predict that it won’t take long for once very celebrated Bangla film industry to enter its doomsday.
Bengali films travelled a long way from its gloomy days of grief stricken mother and her only son super desperate to avenge her misfortune dictated by the impish talukdars or the thirds daughter-in-law of the family giving her heart and soul to win over the favours of her in-laws to a new breed of directors who discovered an all new realm of film-making, experimenting with the most unlikely and never-before-said stories. No matter how cliché it may sound, but this new breed of directors came as a great relief for our cinematic culture. They have the courage to experiment with the most outrageous subjects, they do not shy away from openly discussing sexuality and they definitely have a good knowledge of what it takes to make a good film a box office success as well.
From the popular commercial entertainers to the effervescent contemporary scripts, the audiences in Bengal are now entreated with both the sense and sensibility of Bengali cinema alike. Bengali films today are making big names internationally. They are honoured by the most coveted international film festivals and acclaimed by the greatest recognitions of our country.
This year the Bengali films yet again registered its presence at National Awards. Jaatiswhar – directed by Srijit Mukherjee with Prosenjit Chatterjee, Jishu Sengupta and Swastika Mukherjee playing pivotal roles swept off the National Awards this year. The film bagged four national awards for, best music director (Kabir Suman), best playback singer – male (Rupankar), best makeup artist (Vikram Gaikwad) and best costume (Sabarni Das). This year proved to be an exceptionally big year for the Bengali film industry. Along with Jaatiswar, other films to have won recognition at the National Awards are Bakita Byaltigoto, Heyro party and At the Crossroads: NondonBagchi Life and Living.
Bakita Byaktigoto directed by Pradipta Bhattacharya was selected for the Best Bengali Award while Heyro Party, a Bengali animation flick by Deepak Gawade has been adjudged the best films on family values. At the Crossroads: NondonBagchi Life and Living won special mention at National Awards.
Bengali films performed extra-ordinarily this year. There were both commercial entertainers as well as dynamic presentation of director’s caliber at the box office. It gained back the momentum which was once considered to wither away. Not to mention, there is way more to expect out of the industry in the coming years.