Bimal Roy ‘Monarch Of Indian Filmmakers’ - PART I

Just as thespian Dilip Kumar’s name shall remain embossed in golden letters in the annals of Indian Cinema as the actor par excellence likewise film legend Bimal Roy’s name shall always sparkle for giving Indian cinema a new definition and taking Indian cinema to international level. July 12 marks the legendary filmmaker’s birth anniversary who gave us classic movies like DO BIGHA ZAMEEN (1953), PARINEETA (1953), DEVDAS (1955), MADHUMATI (1958), SUJATA (1959), AND BANDINI (1963).

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Raaga.Com salutes Bimal Roy, the greatest of all the filmmaker and enlightens the younger generation why Bimal Roy is regarded as the Monarch of Indian Filmmakers. 

In an era when Indian Cinema was in its cradle, a young and dynamic filmmaker from Bengal made a Bengali movie UDAYER PATHEY (Towards the dawn), made in 1944. The movie was a hard hitting social comment against class discrimination. The movie created a revolution in Indian cinema because for the first time a filmmaker dared to move out from the run of the mill routine love stories or mythological dramas that ruled the roost. The movie daringly exposed the class differences between the rich and poor. 

UDAYER PATHEY was Bimal Roy, directorial debut in Bengal Cinema for Calcutta’s New Theatres. The highlight of the movie was that it was not only made on a shoe string budget but the movie is perhaps India’s first movie that dwelt with sheer realism in Indian Cinema for the first time with such details. The film is a celluloid masterpiece that introduced sophisticated camerawork and unique camera treatment. It eradicated the theatrical style of acting and ushered in Natural Acting. Interestingly UDAYER PATHEY that was made on smallest budget actually became the New Theatres Studio’s biggest earner and opened floodgates for Bimal Roy. 

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Bimal Roy was born into a landholding family in Dacca in East Bengal of pre independence India on 12 July 1909. His father was a zamindar but soon after his death, he and his family was thrown out from the estate by the corrupt the estate manager. Thus left with no option Bimal Roy was compelled to leave his estate and migrate to Calcutta (Presently called Kolkata).

Life was arduous. He was moved by the wretched plight his family and of other migrants. He was furious against the society that had created the division of rich and the poor. It was his this rage and his close observance of melancholy and gloom that he portrayed in his first movie UDAYER PATHEY so realistically that made the international cinema to take a look at his work. 

Note: In the next issue read about DO BIGHA ZAMEEN and his hold in Bollywood