Buddhadeb Dasgupta

Bengali poet and director, Dasgupta was a lecturer in economics at Calcutta University. Many of his poems have been published in various journals. His poeticism has been extended to cinema as well. During the early stages of his film career, Dasgupta made films inspired by Satyajit Ray's realistic films and later moved on to other forms.

He has published a book of film essays called Swapna Samay Cinema.





Notable films:

Dooratwa - 1978
(The Distance)

Mondar, a former revolutionary in the late 1960s marries a young woman, Anjali and later leaves her when he learns that she is a single mother. He also refuses shelter to a Naxalite on the run. In the end, he finds that the woman he rejected is mature enough to accept him as a friend.

Direction & Screenplay: Buddadhev Dasgupta
Cast: Mamata Shankar, Pradip Mukherjee, Bijon Bhattachary
Cinematography: Ranjith Roy
Music: Ain Rasheed Khan



Neem Annapurna - 1979 - Bengali
(Bitter Morsel)

A man with his family moves to the city from a small town in search of a job. They rent out part of their house to a beggar in order to make ends meet. The father fails to get a job and the daughter is tempted to prostitution. The mother steals a sack of rice from the beggar who has a heart attack and dies. She disposes off his body and makes a delicious meal. The feeling of guilt prevents her from eating the meal.

Direction & Screenplay: Buddhadev Dasgupta
Cast: Monidipa Ray, Sunil Mukherjee, Jayita Sarkar, Manojit Lahiri
Cinematography: Kamal Nayak



Grihajuddha - 1982 - Bengali
(The Crossroad)

A political thriller, the film deals with the relationship between politics and ordinary people. A corrupt owner of a steel factory has his labour officer killed and hires thugs to kill a trade union leader, Prabir. Prabir's sister Nirupama is in love with his friend and comrade, Bijon. Bijon after abandoning politics becomes a successful salesman and finds the distance between himself and Nirupama, still politically committed, too wide to allow their marriage.

Direction & Screenplay: Buddhadev Dasgupta
Cast: Anjan Dutt, Mamata Shankar, Gautam Ghose
Cinematography: Sambit Bose
Music: Buddhadev Dasgupta



Bagh Bahadur - 1989 - Hindi
(The Tigerman)

Ghunuram, a quarry worker returns to his village to participate in a festival as the celebrated Tiger Dancer and also to marry Radha. But Ghunuram's Tiger Dance is eclipsed by a circus show, which has real tigers performing. Radha falls in love with a circus performer. In desperation, Ghunuram enters the leopard's cage and challenges it to a duel, which he loses.

Direction & Screenplay: Buddhadev Dasgupta
Cast: Pavan Malhotra, Archana, M V Vasudeva Rao
Cinematography: Venu
Music: Shantanu Mahapatra



Tahader Katha - 1992 - Bengali
(Their Story)

The story centres on Shibnath Mukherjee, a freedom fighter who appears to be a mad man because he dreams of an impossible world. He has just been released after years in jail, followed by 3 years in a mental asylum. Shibnath would have rotted there had it not been for the political ambitions of Bipin Gupta who had briefly been imprisoned at the same time as Shibnath. Now he needs Shibnath's patriotic credentials to bolster his own shabby image so he can win a seat in the elections.

Shibnath's wife and children live in abject poverty. Shibnath's wife, Hemangini, who hoped for better days when he returned, cannot comprehend his anguish and his unwillingness to join Bipin. Jyoti, the 11 year son is the only one who does not think his father is mad. A tender, loving relationship develops between them. The eyes of Shibnath's wife and Bipin have become soulless windows to Shibnath but he feels there is still a light in Jyoti's eyes.

The film began with Shibnath's train journey from jail and asylum to a village which also seemed like a jail to him and it concludes with another journey as Shibnath, in chains, is transported back to the asylum.

Direction & Screenplay: Buddhadeb Dasgupta
Cast: Mithun Chakraborty, Anasua Majumdar, Dipankar De, Subrata Nandi
Cinematography: Venu
Editing: Ujjal Nandi
Music: Biswadeb Dasgupta



Charachar - 1993 -Bengali
(Shelter of the Wings)

As a result of his young son's death, Lakhinder, descending from a family of bird-catchers develops a mania for releasing captive birds, estranging his wife in the process. He turns increasingly inwards, rejecting the cruelty of the bird market in Calcutta and eventually also releasing his wife. At the end of this lyrical movie, he is 'saved' by the birds as they enter his hut and offer him their protection.

Direction & Screenplay: Buddhadev Dasgupta
Cast: Rajat Kapoor, Laboni Sarkar, Sadhu Meher
Cinematography: Soumendu Roy
Music: Biswadeb Dasgupta



Uttara - 1999 - Bengali

Balaram and Nimai, two railway guards find pleasure in friendly wrestling during their time-offs. When Balaram marries and brings Uttara to his house, the relationship between the two wrestlers takes a new turn. The friendly wrestling turns out to be serious one. The intensity of jealousy turns them so blind that they never notice the unpleasant happenings around them and do not react to them.

Direction & Screenplay: Buddhadev Dasgupta
Cast: Jaya Seal, Tapas Pal, Shankar Chakraborthy, R I Asad
Cinematography: Asim Bose
Editing: : Raviranjan Maitra
Music: Biswadeb Dasgupta



Mondo Meyer Upakhyan- 2002 - Bengali
(A Tale of a Naughty Girl)

Lati is the daughter of a prostitute. Her mother believes that salvation comes through adhering to one's social condition. She wishes to sell her daughter to an old and influential rich man who spends his time watching pornographic films, persuaded that he can make Lati rich and protect her. But Lati wants to study. She finally decides to leave her home to follow her teacher, who encourages her to pursue her studies. The young girl's emancipation occurs the day that man takes his first step on the moon, when mankind lets go (symbolically) off its earthly roots. In counterpoint, three young prostitutes, the Boss's chauffeur, and an elderly couple offer characters who somehow make the best of their social role. The plot thickens and takes on surrealistic tones when a third level of 'characters' and itineraries appear in the narration: a cat joining up with the person who feeds it; a monkey; and a tree populated by a colony of termites. With the juxtaposition of these levels the human potentials for emancipation and arranging spaces for freedom in a gelled social framework are in opposition to the cyclical and predetermined behaviour of the animals.

Direction & Screenplay: Buddhadeb Dasgupta
Cast: Arpan Basar, Ramgopal Bajaj, Rituparna Sengupta, Samata Das, Tapash Paul
Cinematography: Venu
Editing: Raviranjan Maitra
Music: Buddhadeb Dasgupta



Filmography:

  • Dooratwa (1978)
  • Neem Annapurna (1979)
  • Grihajuddha (1982)
  • Andhi Gali (1984)
  • Phera (1986)
  • Bagh Bahadur (1989)
  • Tahader Katha (1992)
  • Charachar (1993)
  • Uttara (1999)
  • Mondo Meyer Upakhyan (2002)



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