Bimal Roy ‘Monarch Of Indian Filmmakers’ - PART III

In the last issue you read how the critical acclaim and the commercial success of DO BIGHA ZAMEEN made Bimal Roy an iconic filmmaker. However despite wide acclaim by critics there were few so called hard core critics who felt Bimal Roy’s DO BIGHA ZAMEEN, was highly inspired by Italian director Vittorio De Sica's BICYCLE THIEVES (1948) hence they had reservation regarding the cinematic excellence of Bimal Roy. 

However Bimal Roy tight lipped all these critics by scoring a hattrick at Filmfare awards by winning three Filmfare Award for Best Director - DO BIGHA ZAMIN (1953), PARINEETA (1954) AND BIRAJ BAHU (1955) in a row. And that’s not all Bimal also scored a hattrick at the National Film Awards winning All India Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film for DO BIGHA ZAMIN (1953), BIRAJ BAHU (1954) and DEVDAS (1955) in a row! 

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After DO BIGHA ZAMEEN the other movie that makes Bimal Roy immortal is his all time classic DEVDAS. Though this film has been remade many times but the impact that Bimal Roy’s version has leaves cinema buffs overwhelmed. 

Speaking about DEVDAS, Bimal Roy’s son, Joy Bimal Roy in an interview said, “Baba was obsessed with making DEVDAS. Actually two decades back when director P.C. Barua made DEVDAS (1935) starring legendary K.L. Saigal, Baba was his assistant director and after that movie it was his ambition to recreate his version of DEVDAS, which he ultimately achieved by featuring Dilip Kumar in 1955.” 

The reason why Bimal Roy wanted to remake DEVDAS was not just the irresistible story by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay but he took it as a challenge. Since PC Barua’s version was hugely successful both critically and commercially, Bimal Roy wanted to experiment, if he can achieve what his guru (P.C. Barua) has achieved or excel. 

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The biggest hurdle that came his way while making the movie was finding an ideal actor who could do justice to the character of DEVDAS. K.L.Saighal being an alcoholic himself had brought the pathos of the character quite substantially in the original version. 

After lot of pondering Bimal Roy finally zeroed upon Dilip Kumar. In an interview Bimal Roy had said, “I had seen Dilip Kumar in DAAG, portraying an alcoholic with perfection. Further he was a disciplined actor and had immense potential. Hence when I met him and purposed the subject he took some time but later he gave his per percent to the movie.” 

The beauty of the Bimal Roy’s DEVDAS is its sensitive narration laced with intellectual dialogues penned by literary genius Rajinder Singh Bedi, a tight screenplay by Nabendu Ghosh, bewitching music by S.D.Burman and the philosophical lyrics by the best poet of that era Sahir Ludhiyanvi Just remember the song …

Jise Tu Qabul Kar Le, Vo Sada Kahaan Se Laaun, 

Tere Dil Ko, Jo Lubha Le Vo Ada Kahaan Se Laaun

Tujhe Aur Ki Tamanna, Mujhe Teri Aarzoo Hai

Tere Dil Men Gham Hi Gham Hai, Mere Dil Men Tu Hi Tu Hai

Jo Dilon Ko Chain De De, Vo Dava Kahaan Se Laaun

To add to cherry to cake the casting of the movie is perhaps one of the best ever assembled. Besides Dilip Kumar the two actresses Vyjayanthimala and Suchitra Sen, (who made her debut in Hindi cinema with movie) steal the thunder.