Bimal Roy is truly a legendary filmmaker. His cinema is considered art and I, as a literature student myself, have often studied his films as part of my curriculum. Sunil Dutt and Nutan starrer Sujata is one such gem by the man. Sujata released in the year 1959 and spoke about topics that no one else was talking about at the time. It’s not to say that it was the first movie of its kind but the portrayal of characters in the film remain a point of reference even today.
Not that we are in any position to doubt the brilliance of Bimal da, but Sujata told an amazing story about a girl and her role in a family viz a viz the caste she was born in. Seemingly dull topic, you’d imagine – but the treatment is something that keeps you hooked till the end.
Bimal Roy had a knack for casting the best suited actors for roles in his films and extracting strong performances out of them. No one else could’ve played Sunil Dutt and Nutan’s parts in the movie in the way that they did. Casting masterstroke, this one! Also, it was Nutan’s death anniversary a few days ago so watch this masterpiece as a tribute to her.
You do know the ‘Sujata Shot’, right? It’s a real thing! Apparently, Roy wanted to show Sujata’s blushing through a shot of the leaves and he spent four whole days to get it right. It’s called the ‘Sujata Shot’. Wonder if that’s the inspiration for the flowers meeting to indicate consummation in Bollywood?
The caste system and accountability as an issue is still a reality in some parts of the country and the film dealt with such sensitive topics beautifully.
It also raises interesting questions regarding family ties and how deep they can be. And like I said, we can’t ignore the fact that the themes in the film are not part of our society anymore. Nutan portrays a very tough character with equal amounts of grace, poise and innocence.
Don’t forget to tune in to Dettol Presents ‘The Bimal Roy Festival presented by Boman Irani’ co-powered by State Bank of India and Good Knight Advanced Active+, on Zee Classic. It’s airing Sujata this Saturday, 27th Feb at 8pm!
This post is in partnership with Zee Classic India