Bimal Roy – A cocktail of realism and socialism in Bollywood

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Some people radiate a light so strong that it shows paths to others long after they are gone. Such a director was Bimal Roy. He was born on 12th Jul, 1909 in Dhaka, Bangla Desh. He is remembered for making movies like Do Bigha Zamin, Parineeta, Biraj Bahu, Madhumati, Sujata, and Bandini which conveyed his strong understanding of real India.


His early life was full of struggle. Though born in a rich Zamindar family, he was thrown out after his father’s death by his estate manager. He moved to Kolkatta with his widowed mother and infant brothers without any money.

His first movie, Udayer Pathey (1944), was related to prevelant class discrimination in thode days. It is a celluloid masterpiece for Bengali viewers, It broke new ground in sophisticated camerawork/ treatment, non-theatrical acting and box office records.

Bimal Roy too moved to Mumbai in 1952-53 and launched Bimal Roy Productions with ‘Do Bigha Zamin’. This movie made a strong impact for its humane portrayal of Indian farmers. It is considered one of the 10 best Indian films of all time. ‘Do Bigha Zamin’ has the distinction of being one of the first Indian films to win awards and accolades: in China, UK, Karlovi Vary, Cannes, USSR, Venice and Melbourne.

Sarat Chandra’s charming ‘Parineeta‘, the poignant ‘Devdas‘, the lyrical ‘Sujata‘, or the stunning ‘Madhumati‘ – Bimal Roy became a name synonymous great cinematic skill. He was accepted not only in the cities, but in the rural areas around the country. He was a legend in his lifetime.

Bimal Roy passed away at the age of 55, leaving behind an unmatched and unequalled cinematic legacy that is India’s proud, National heritage.


Here is a documentary about his life



Information/Image Credits: Bimal Roy Memorial & Film Society

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