Uttam Kumar And Soumitra Chatterjee Were Not Contemporary Actors.

The article speaks about the career of superstar Uttam Kumar. Media had compared him with talented actor Soumitra Chatterjee. The article proves the fact that Uttam Kumar and Soumitra Chatterjee were not contemporary to one another.

Uttam Kumar and Soumitra Chatterjee were not contemporary actors.

Uttam Kumar ruled commercial Bengali films in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The media in many references tried to compare Uttam Kumar with Soumitra Chatterjee. The entire comparison was baseless due to the fact that both the actors did not act at the same age.


Comparisons make sense when one actor is a competitor of the other actor. For example Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar were compared together. Both of them acted together in the film Andaz in 1949. When Raj Kapoor’s film Shree 420 became super hit in 1955, Dilip Kumar’s Azaad

became super hit. When Raj Kapoor’s Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai did good business in 1960, Dilip Kumar’s Mughal-I-Azam became a blockbuster in 1960 itself.


As far as Uttam Kumar was concerned his first film Mayador was not released in 1947. With Dristidan, his second film he began his film career. From 1947 to 1960, his major hit films included Sare Chuattor, Sagarika, Harano Sur, Sap Mochon, Bicharak, Shilpi, Pathe Holo Deri, to name a few. Soumitra Chatterjee on the other hand started his career in 1959 with Satyajit Ray’s Apur Sangsar in 1959. From 1960 onwards he acted in successful films like Abhijan, Khudita Pasan, Saat Pake Bandha, Charulata, etc.


Many of the directors who did cast Uttam Kumar in the early 1950s, faded out in the 1960s. Examples include Niren Lahiri with whom Uttam Kumar acted in films like Shankar Narayan Bank, Prithibi Amare Chay, Indrani, etc., Chitta Bose with whom Uttam Kumar acted in films like Bondhu, Mayamrigo, Ekti Raat, etc, Nirmal Dey with whom Uttam Kumar acted in films like Basu Paribar, Chapadangar Bou, Sare Chuattar, Agradoot with whom Uttam Kumar acted in films like Sabar Opore, Agniparikkha, Trijama, Pothe Holo Deri, Surjo Toron, Khokababur Protyabartan, etc. Great director Ajoy Kar did cast Uttam Kumar in the biggest hits of his lifetime including Harano Sur, Shyamali, Shuno Boro Nari, Saptapadi, etc.


Soumitra Chatterjee hardly acted in the films of the above named directors. During Soumitra’s time in the late 1960s new directors like Ajit Lahiri, Pinaki Mukherjee, Salil Dutta rose to fame and Soumitra acted well in those films.


Uttam Kumar faced the greatest challenge from other heroes of his times including Asit Boron who gave hit films like Kar Pape in 1952, Jaydeb in 1954, Khelaghar in 1959, Bosonto Choudhury who gave hit films like Mahaprasthaner Pathe in 1952, Shubhoratri in 1956, Deep Jele Jai in 1959, Bodhu in 1962, Bikash Ray in films like Ratnadeep in 1952, Chele Kar in 1954, Andhare Alo in 1959, Smriti Tuku Thak in 1960, to name a few. Uttam Kumar managed to win the hearts of millions of bengalies and became more popular than Asit Boron, Bosonto Choudhury, Bikash Roy to be mahanayak. Soumitra Chatterjee did not enter the film arena at all in the 1950s.


The heroines of Uttam Kumar included Anubha Gupta in Shymali, Trijama, Kaberi Bose in Shankar Narayan Bank, Deepti Roy in Bicharak, Sabitri Chatterjee in Morutirtha Hinglaj, Sumitra Debi in Saheb Bibi Golam, Sondha Rani in Kankabatir Hat. Many of the actresses acted in any single film of Soumitra Chatterjee. He on the other hand acted opposite other actresses like Aparna Sen in Bosonto Bilap, Sondha Roy in Baghini, Sharmila Tagore in Aranyer Din Ratri, to name a few.


The music directors who composed music in Uttam Kumar’s films and swayed the audiences were also different. Anupam Ghatak composed brilliant tunes in films Agni Parikkha, Ekti Raat, Shankar Narayan Bank. Robin Chatterjee outstanding tunes in Uttam Kumar films Sabar Upore, Sagarika, Pathe Holo Deri, Bipasha, Uttarayan, Surjo Sikha and other films. In fact Robin

Chatterjee composed music for the maximum number of films of Uttam Kumar, that was 21 films. Dr Nochiketa Ghosh composed brilliant tunes in Uttam Kumar’s films Prithibi Amare chay, Bondhu, Trijama, Chaowa Pawa, to name a few. Manobendra Mukherjee composed excellent tunes for Uttam Kumar in films like Sanjher Pradeep, Mayamrigo, Jayjayanti, Chapadangar Bou, to name a few. Hemanta Mukherjee composed excellent tunes in Uttam Kumar’s films Shapmochon, Dui Bhai, Saptapadi, Surjo Toron, Harano Sur, to name a few. Shyamal Mitra composed excellent tunes in Uttam Kumar’s films Deya Neya, Bhranti Bilas, Sakher Chor, Banpalashir Padabali, to name a few. The songs sung by Hemanta Mukherjee, Manobendra Mukherjee, Manna Dey, Shaymal Mitra for Uttam Kumar and Sandhya Mukherjee, Geeta Dutt for Suchitra Sen in Uttam Kumar Suchitra Sen’s films were milestones in Bengali film history.


On the other hand in the films of Soumitra Chatterjee, the music directors were different. Sudhin Dasgupta composed music in Soumitra’s films Teen Bhuboner Pare, Basanta Bilap, etc. Soumitra Chatterjee acted in 14 films of great director Satyajit Ray. There was no concept of hero in films of Satyajit Ray. In films like Gupi Gayeen, Bagha Bayeen, the central roles were given to Tapen Chatterjee and Robi Ghosh. So there was neither matinee idol nor heroine in those films.


Uttam Kumar was the greatest matinee idol in Bengal. His hair cut having u background, his walking style, his way of wearing full shirt with the sleeves rolled back, his way of wearing dhoti were imitated by the youngstars of the 1950s and 1960s. Uttam Kumar’s films were remade in hindi with brilliant actors playing his roles. Uttam Kumar’s Sabar Upore was remade in hindi with the title Kala Pani where Dev Anand played his character, his film Nishi Padda was remade in hindi with the title Amar Prem where Rajesh Khanna played the role, his film Choddobeshi was remade in hindi with the title Chupke Chupke where Dharmender played his role. The list just goes on.


Very few Soumitra Chatterjee’s films were remade in hindi. The entire comparison between Uttam Kumar and Soumitra Chatterjee by the media for the last 30 years had been absolutely baseless. Neither Soumitra Chatterjee was Uttam Kumar’s rival, nor competitor, nor contemporary. Instead the media should have discussed about actors who came in the industry during Soumitra’s time like Subhendu Chatterjee, Dipankar Dey, to name a few. Uttam Kumar acted in a different age.

The few actors who were contemporary to Uttam Kumar were Bosonto Choudhury, Bikash Roy and Asit Boron. In the film Khokababur Protyaborton, Asit Boron played the role of the Munsef in whose house Uttam Kumar worked. Asit Boron was the hero of the film Kar Pape in 1952, where Uttam Kumar played a small role. Both Uttam Kumar and Asit Boron faced each other in films like Brotocharini, Bandhu, Surjo Toron. Bikash Roy was rival of Uttam Kumar in many films like Griha Prabesh, Shap Mochon, Abhayer Biye. It was due to dominance of Uttam Kumar in the role of matinee idol that Bikash Roy had to switch to villainish roles. Bosonto Choudhury acted opposite Uttam Kumar in many films like Harjit, Shankar Narayan Bank, Shankha Bela, Jodi Jantem, etc.

Article Written By souvik1

Dr. Souvik Chatterji Address: 22/ 6, Kalicharan Ghosh Road, Flat - Chayabitan, 1st Floor, Kolkata - 700050, West Bengal Phone(s): +91 9163017214; +91 9950836554 | Email: souvikchatterji2000@gmail.com | Date of Birth: 18th June 1976 Senior Level | Academic & Education | Administration & Operations | Research Law Institutions/Legal Domain

Last updated on 28-09-2016 1K 1

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