Tribute To Tapan Sinha
The eminent film director Tapan Sinha passed away January 15, 2009. He was 84 and was suffering from bronchopneumonia. He has been in hospital for the last three weeks. Sinha, did not make films for the last eight years due to ill health.
Sinha was born in Calcutta in 1924, but had been away from the city for a considerable amount of time. He was married to the famous film actress Arundhati Devi.
Sinha started his journey as a film director back in 1958 with Ankush. In 2000, he made his last film Anokhi Moti. In these fifty years, he presented the audience of the Indian cinema with nearly fourty movies. He won the National award 19 times and recieved many international awards too. In 2008, he received the DadaSaheb Falke award for his contribution to the Indian cinema. But the movies he made were actually international standard. He has made movies on a variety of subjects. Literature has always played an important role in his films. He has made movies on incidents taken from real life. His movies were not always just about pure entertainment, they often had the intention to raise our inner voices.
Sinha in his work period of almost half a century, has worked not only with a wide variety of subjects, but he was also widely versatile with his actors and actresses. In his films over all this period, he has exploited the stars both from the Hindi and Bengali film industries, though he never confined himself among their stardom. Sinha has worked with Bollywood actors like Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar, VaijayanthiMala, Saira Banu, Sunil Dutt, Waheeda Rehmaan, Tanuja, Shabana Azmi, Pankaj Kapur, Vijayendra, Deepa Shahi, Naseeruddin Shah, Supriya Pathak. The stars were offered roles very different from their typical “hero” or “heroine”characters, where they were often deglamorized and transformed into real life characters. The Bengali movie stars like Uttam Kumar, Soumitra Chatterjee, Arundhati Devi, Madhabi Mukherjee, Anil Chatterjee, Nirmal Kumar, Shandhya Roy, Aparna Sen, Sharmila Tagore, Dilip Roy, Dipankar Dey, Mohua Roy Chowdhury, Prasenjeet, Shatabdi Roy and many more. He worked with almost every actor and actress one can possibly do, in the last 50 years of Bengali cinema. Even in some of his films he has used actors and actresses like Koushik Sen, Laboni Sen, Arjun Chakroborty, Rajatabha Dutt, who were not stars at that time, but has undoubtedly proven them later in the cinema, and probably also on stage. Sinha certainly had the inner vision to choose his team. In the past, Bengali cinema had wonderful actors who played the side roles which were extremely important in the films. These days we lack those characters in films and a sad thruth is that we do not remember those brilliant actors. I think it will not be irrelevant to mention that in his films, Tapan Sinha used those actors and actresses who did the so called side roles in the mainstream Bengali cinema like Rabi Ghosh, Chinmoy Roy, Manoj Mitra, RadhaMohan Bhattacharya, Bhanu Banerjee, Pahari Sanyal, Nabadweep Haldar, Jahar Ganguly, Chhaya Devi, Tarun Kumar, Swaroop Dutt, Shamit Bhanja, Sonali Gupta, Kajal Gupta, Santosh Dutta, Kamal Mitra, Asit Baran, Bikash Roy, Kali Banerjee, Partho Mukherjee, Santu Mukherjee. He used almost every talent present in the industry in his films in various forms- sometimes even in ‘main’ roles. It is again another truth that the heroes or heroines of one time have to do side roles in the next generation movies.
Tapan Sinha has made film like Safed Haathi keeping the children audiences in mind. Sinha also made some documentaries. He was not only a dirctor, but also wrote stories and lyrics, prepared music, for many of his films. The use of background music and songs in some of his movies are awesome. Some of Sinha’s movies have been inspirations for Hindi movies. His films were more than just commercial, and not really so-called art films, and I believe that those margins are not so prominent these days. Whatever they may be categorized into, all films by Tapan Sinha were good, and should be watched at least once.
We, the admirers of any good cinema, at the Calcutta Tube deeply mourn the passing away of Tapan Sinha and pay our sincere respect. This is no doudt an unreplenishable loss not only of the Indian cinema, but the world cinema as well.