My father was born on September 14, 1928; he joined the film industry in July 1957 and passed away in March 1972. He spent only 14 and half years in the industry—a very short time—however during this brief period he had the opportunity to do some excellent roles and had the good fortune to work with some of the best directors of the industry.
Tarun Bose is one of the treasures of Hindi cinema history. He is one of those consummate actors who could and did “disappear” into his roles, making it difficult if not impossible sometimes for a fan to identify him as “Tarun Bose.” He was taken from us and from his loved ones by a heart attack—far too soon and far too young—in 1974, but was a key player in many memorable films before that. The above screen shot is of his first appearance onscreen, about three minutes into his 1957 debut film Apradhi Kaun.
Many of you know that his daughter Shilpi has been sharing anecdotes about him for some time here. I asked her if she would be willing to write a guest post about him, and she has generously offered to share much more about his life and work and her memories of him than will fit in one post. I am thrilled! I know that regular readers of this blog will appreciate this rare glimpse into a wonderful actor and even more wonderful man. When she gets her scanner up and running again she may share photographs too, so let’s encourage her to keep going. Thanks so much, Shilpi—and over to you!
There is a lot to appreciate in this Bimal Roy production (Moni Bhattacharjee directs), but for me anyway not a lot to LOVE. It is meticulously crafted; I enjoyed the settings and portrayal of life in small-town India, but everything is so picture-postcard perfect that it began to get on my nerves (I like a bit of “messy”). Even the war scenes in the second half feel far too carefully arranged. In the long run, it somehow lacks the heart to really be a classic although it certainly looks like one; but it’s more a coffee-table book of pretty photographs than an engrossing movie. It didn’t help that the painstaking care taken over the characterizations, photography, songs and script was all in service of a complete downer of a plot! But I didn’t mind the gloomy story as much as I missed that intangible sense of life—it just wasn’t there.
This is a perfect rainy-day movie about true love and reincarnation. Bimal Roy uses weather to great effect in this film, setting the mood and atmosphere for each plot development, and enhancing the emotional impact of the story.
It begins in the pouring rain with a car wending its way along a dark, steep, winding road. Inside the car, Devendra (Dilip Kumar) and a friend are on their way to the railway station to meet Devendra’s wife and child, who have cabled to say they are on the way. Although Devendra is clearly anxious to get there, they are forced to stop by a landslide which has blocked the road. The driver goes for help, and tells them to go to a nearby haveli for shelter.
The haveli has been long abandoned and is full of dust and cobwebs; but Devendra feels he has been there before. As the rain continues pelting down and thunder rolls outside, he asks the old caretaker about things the house used to contain. He finds a portrait that he remembers painting himself in a former lifetime (not as crazy in the movie as it sounds here). He begins to tell the story of his former life there…