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Satyajit Ray, Amol Palekar and Marathi

By Vijay Satokar
May 16, 2018
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 Amol Palekar, the boy next door, darling of ‘Golmaal’, ‘Chhotisi Baat’, ‘Chitchor’…’Gharonda’ of the seventies and the eighties inaugurated an exhibition ‘Satyajit Ray and beyond’ of photographs of legendary director, producer Satyajit Ray taken by Nemai Ghosh, at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.

Not many know that the versatile actor, director Amol besidesacted in Bengali (Kalankini, Chena Achena, Abasheshe), Malayalam (Olangal), Telugu (Jeevana Jyothi) movies too. No wonder he was with Adoor Gopalakrishnan, noted Malayalam director and Prof. Samik Bandyopadhyay, former Tagore National Fellow, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi.

The packed conference hall of the NMML saw the panelists discussing ‘Ray and his contemporaries’. Palekar recalled how Ray broke free from the Hollywood and Bombay style of cinema and presented the viewers a cinema that was nearer to reality. Ray was criticized by some quarters, including surprisingly Nargis who was then Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha for portraying a poor image of India by showing poverty. Nargis, who played the title role in ‘Mother India’ represented the section of the cinema industry that was threatened by Ray’s films winning critical acclaim. The difference was glamourized portrayal of poverty and portrayal of real poverty, he said.

The baton of the Ray style was taken forward by producers and directors that included Amol Palekar, he said.

The panelists discussed noted Bengali, Marathi and Malayalam directors including Mrinal Sen, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Bimal Roy, V. Shatnaram and Ritwik Ghatak.

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