Bengali cinema, also known as Tollywood, has been an integral part of Indian cinema for over a century. From Satyajit Ray’s ground breaking films to the commercially successful works of contemporary directors, Bengali cinema has contributed significantly to Indian cinema’s artistic and cultural legacy.
Here are some of the greatest Bengali cinema classics that you must watch:
- Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road) Pather Panchali is the first film in Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy and is considered one of the most significant films in Indian cinema history. It tells the story of Apu, a young boy growing up in a poverty-stricken rural Bengal in the 1920s. The film’s stunning cinematography and naturalistic performances make it a timeless classic.
- Charulata (The Lonely Wife) Charulata, directed by Satyajit Ray, is a masterpiece of Indian cinema. It tells the story of a lonely housewife, Charulata, who falls in love with her husband’s cousin. The film explores themes of love, jealousy, and creativity and features superb performances from its lead actors.
- Jalsaghar (The Music Room) Jalsaghar, directed by Satyajit Ray, is a haunting film that explores the decline of a wealthy Bengali aristocrat. The film’s use of music and sound is exceptional, and its visual style is breathtaking. Jalsaghar is widely regarded as one of Satyajit Ray’s best films.
- Devdas Devdas, directed by Bimal Roy, is a tragic love story based on a novel by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. The film stars Dilip Kumar as Devdas, a wealthy man who is unable to marry the woman he loves, and instead becomes an alcoholic. The film’s stunning cinematography and powerful performances make it a must-watch for any fan of Indian cinema.
- Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) Ghare-Baire, directed by Satyajit Ray, is a complex film that explores the tensions between tradition and modernity in early 20th century Bengal. The film follows the story of a wealthy Bengali couple, Nikhil and Bimala, and their relationship with their nationalist friend, Sandip. Ghare-Baire is a thought-provoking film that raises important questions about Indian society and politics.
- Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha) Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, directed by Satyajit Ray, is a delightful children’s film that has become a classic in Indian cinema. The film tells the story of two musicians, Goopy and Bagha, who are granted three wishes by a fairy. The film’s memorable songs and imaginative visuals make it a must-watch for all ages.
- Meghe Dhaka Tara (The Cloud-Capped Star) Meghe Dhaka Tara, directed by Ritwik Ghatak, is a poignant film that explores the lives of a refugee family in post-Partition Bengal. The film’s stark realism and emotional depth make it a powerful cinematic experience. Meghe Dhaka Tara is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in Indian cinema history.
- Nayak (The Hero) Nayak, directed by Satyajit Ray, is a thought-provoking film that explores the life of a successful film actor, Arindam Mukherjee, as he travels by train from Kolkata to Delhi. The film’s exceptional performances and insightful commentary on Indian cinema make it a must-watch for any film enthusiast.
- Aparajito (The Unvanquished) Aparajito is the second film in Satyajit