Soumitra Chatterjee’s Death: 20 Films Of The Acting Legend Every Indian Should Watch
20 films of Soumitra Chatterjee every Indian must consider watching!
Legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee, the star of some of Bengali cinema’s finest films passed away on November 15. Soumitra Chatterjee was Bengal’s most celebrated actor and was best known for his many collaborations with filmmaker Satyajit Ray. Together, the dynamic duo made 14 films. Soumitra Chatterjee made his debut in 1959 with Satyajit Ray’s film Apur Sansar. Soumitra Chatterjee was also a part of the Pather Panchali trilogy. Some of Satyajit Ray and Soumitra Chatterjee’s popular films together include Charulata, Devi, Teen Kanya, Ghare Baire, Ganashatru. His last big-screen outing was 2019’s Sanjhbati. Here’s a list of Soumitra Chaterjee’s 20 films every Indian must watch:
- Apur Sansar- 1959
Directed by Satyajit Ray, the film Apur Sansar is the third part of the Apu Trilogy. Released in 1959, Apur Sansar focuses on Apu’s adult life, and also introduces the actors Soumitra Chatterjee and Sharmila Tagore, who would go on to appear in many subsequent Ray films. The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film and several international awards
- Abhijan- 1962
Abhijan is another Bengali film, directed by Satyajit Ray. The film gives the famous Ray flavour in its composition, flow and dialogues, and use of symbols. The film explores the story of a taxi driver, Narsingh, who attempts to reinvent his life by visiting his native place. Instead, he unwillingly gets involved in Sukhanram’s smuggling and human trafficking business.
- Jhinder Bondi-1961
Jhiinder Bondi is a historical Bengali film starring Uttam Kumar, Soumitra Chatterjee, Arundhati Devi, Tarun Kumar and Radhamohan Bhattacharya in lead roles. This is another fine film of actor Soumitra Chatterjee who was seen in a villainous role. Jhinder Bondi follows the story of Gauri Shankar Roy who looks much like Shankar Singh, the king of Jhind. However, when Shankar disappears, a person from the kingdom approaches Gauri to assume the identity of the missing king.
- Saat Pake Bandha-1963
The story about love and wealth, Saat Pake Bandha was a romantic film starring Soumitra Chatterjee, Suchitra Sen, Pahari Sanyal and Tarun Kumar. Directed by Ajoy Kar, it was a box office success upon its release. This is another gem film of the late actor to watch. The film was remade into several other languages later.
- Charulata- 1964
Directed by Satyajit Ray, the film Charulata was based upon a novel written by Rabindranath Tagore. Featuring Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee and Sailen Mukherjee. The film is considered one of Ray’s highest achievements. Moreover, the first and the last scene of the film was critically appreciated.
- Akash Kusum-1965
Akash Kusum was directed by noted Indian parallel director Mrinal Sen.Starring Aparna Sen, Soumitra Chatterjee, Subhendu Chatterjee and Haradhan Bandopadhyay, the film was a story about longings of a middle-class executive to rise in stature and be accepted by the higher society. The film was later remade in Hindi as Manzil.
- Baghini- 1968
Directed by Bijay Bose, the Bengali film Baghini starred Soumitra Chatterjee stars as the main hero, Chiranjib, and Sandhya Roy plays the film’s heroine, Dugga. The film explores the story of Dugga and Chiranjib who fall in love while running a liquor business. Since he does not want her to be a part of his disturbed life, he decides to mend his ways.
- Aparachita- 1969
Aparachita is a classic Bengali film directed by Salil Dutta. The film starred Soumitra Chatterjee, Aparna Sen and Sandhya Roy in the lead roles. The film is an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel, The Idiot. This is another film of the late legendary actor one must watch.
- Teen Bhubaner Pare-1969
Inspired by Samaresh Basu’s novel, the film Teen Bhubaner Pare starred Soumitra Chatterjee, Tanuja and Rabi Ghosh. The songs of this film had become the most popular amongst the youth. In the history of Bengal Cinema, this film was a big hit.
- Baksa Badal- 1970
Baksa Badal was a comedy film following the story of two people who have their luggage exchanged during a train journey. The film starred Soumitra Chatterjee, Aparna Sen, Prasad Mukhopadhyay, Satindra Bhattacharya, Subrato Sen, and Sabitri Chatterjee in lead roles. This was another classic film directed by Nityananda Datta.
- Ashani Sanket- 1973
Ashani Sanket by the renowned Indian director Satyajit Ray, based on the novel by the same name by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay. It starred Soumitra Chatterjee and Bobita in prominent roles. This film featured in The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made.
- Sonar Kella-1974
Sonar Kella is another popular Bengali film starring Soumitra. It also starred Santosh Dutta, Siddartha Chatterjee and Kushal Chakraborty. It followed the story of private detective Feluda and his cousin Topshe are hired by a vexed man to take care of Mukul, his gifted child, who is in Rajasthan with a parapsychologist to find a treasure from his past life.
- Sansar Simante- 1975
Directed by Tarun Majumdar, the film Sansar Seemantey starred Sandhya Roy, Soumitra Chatterjee and Shekhar Chatterjee in the lead roles. This was another popular film of the late legendary actor one must not miss watching.
Kony is a national award-winning Bengali film directed by Saroj Dey. The film is an adaptation of a novel with the same name by Moti Nandi. The film is about Kony, a poor but talented swimmer, and Khidda, her coach, must overcome several obstacles and beat social stigma to participate in the National Swimming Championship.
Atanka is a story about a schoolmaster who witnesses a murder committed by his ex-student. The story then follows how his students restrict him from reporting the crime. Directed by Tapan Sinha, the film starred Prasenjit Chatterjee and Satabdi Roy with Soumitra Chatterjee.
Asookh is a feature film directed by Rituparno Ghosh and was also awarded the Best Feature Film at the 46th national Film Award. The film is about Sudhamoy who is forced to depend on his daughter’s earnings. His life takes a drastic turn when his wife falls ill and gets hospitalized.
- Paromitar Ekdin-2000
Directed by Aparna Sen, the film Paromitar Ek Din starred Aparna Sen, Rituparna Sengupta and Sohini Sengupta in the lead roles. The film explores the themes of friendship and loneliness. It won several national and international awards.
Dekha is Goutam Ghose’s ninth feature film and his successful one. The film revolves around an ageing poet afflicted with glaucoma and nearly blind whose wife has deserted him because of his reckless lifestyle. It starred Debashree Roy, Indrani Haldar and Soumitra Chatterjee in the lead roles.
- Podokkhep- 2006
Podokkhep is another classic film of Soumitra Chatterjee to watch by Suman Ghosh. The story is about the trials and tribulations faced by Shashanka, a retired bank manager and widower, and his daughter Megha while trying to maintain their professional lives and relationships.
Mayurakshi won the Best Bengali Feature Film in 2017. It was directed by Atanu Ghosh. Mayurakshi followed the story of A middle-aged man, who is facing problems in his life, visits his father who is suffering from a neurological disorder. This reunion changes their lives when several closed chapters are reopened.
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