Komal Gandhar can be described as Ritwik Ghatak’s thesis-film. The film is a semi-autobiographical account of both the radical theatre movements in the 1940s and 1950s, particularly recalling Indian People’s Theatre Association, an important leftist cultural platform of which Ghatak was an active member and relatively calmer Bengal in the latter half of 1950s. So unabashed it was in its candor that the film landed Ghatak in major differences with the pro-soviet Communist Party of India, from which his distance increased slowly. The dialogue that triggers off the film is from a play which is being staged within the film, describing the effects of the Partition of India: “They have other-ed my mother, my own mother”. The narrative is about a couple of rival radical theatre groups, one led by Bhrigu, and the other by Shanta, of which Anasuya, the heroine of the film, is a member. Anasuya tries to bridge the groups. During the staging of a resultant joint-production of Bhrigu’s version of the Sanskrit classic Shakuntala, Shanta and her cronies deliberately sabotages it. Bhrigu and Anasuya, in between productions and journeys, fall in love. Now Anasuya has to choose between Bhrigu and Samar, her fiancée who lives in Paris. —guidehttp://images.google.com.tr/imgres?imgurl=http://lovesragpicker.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/image.png&imgrefurl=http://lovesragpicker.wordpress.com/2007/07/07/&usg=__GLbNp1JzTNsxmlp5XCFW548mqAU=&h=439&w=640&sz=217&hl=tr&start=1&sig2=-JObDaxhhgmruTOejGG90A&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=lLTROW5kwUbrrM:&tbnh=94&tbnw=137&prev=/images%3Fq%3DKomal%2BGandhar%2B1961%26hl%3Dtr%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1&ei=oEAfS8z9NYzEsAa27vCZCw
Ritwik Ghatak was born in Dhaka in East Bengal (now Bangladesh). He and his family moved to Calcutta (now Kolkata) in West Bengal just before millions of other refugees from East Bengal began to flood into the city, fleeing the catastrophic Bengal famine of 1943 and the partition of Bengal in 1947. Identification with this tide of refugees was to define his practice, providing an overriding metaphor for cultural dismemberment and exile that unified his subsequent creative work. The 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, which led to more refugees fleeing to India, was to also have a similar impact on his work.
In 1948, Ghatak wrote his first play Kalo sayar (The Dark Lake), and participated in a revival of the landmark play Nabanna. In 1951, Ghatak joined the Indian People’s Theatre Association ( IPTA ). He wrote, directed and acted in plays and translated Bertolt Brecht and Gogol into Bengali. In 1957, he wrote and directed his last play Jwala (The Burning).
Ghatak entered the… read more
One of the best films about the theatre. In fact, now I appreciate more the only Renoir I did not love THE RIVER. The music pieces, than kind of interlude within the main action are positively brilliant. I saw early Mizoguchi here, too. Great great film.