Ritwik and His “Meghe Dhaka Tara”-A Review Into Oppression and Feminism in The Alter

It is one particular of life’s biggest ironies that Ritwik Ghatak who is today a little something of a cult determine in Bengal was so small understood and appreciated for the duration of his life span. In spite of the point that these days his movies have won considerably significant acclaim, the truth continues to be that in their time they ran to predominantly vacant houses in Bengal. Ghatak’s films venture a unique
sensibility. They are generally brilliant, but pretty much constantly flawed.

Born in Dhaka (now in Bangladesh), the partition of Bengal and the subsequent division of a lifestyle was a little something that haunted Ghatak permanently. Signing up for the still left-wing Indian People’s Theatre Affiliation (IPTA), he applied to work for a handful of yrs as a playwright, actor and director. When IPTA split into factions, Ghatak turned to filmmaking.

By and massive Ghatak’s films revolve all-around two central themes: the working experience of becoming uprooted from the idyllic rural milieu of East Bengal and the cultural trauma of the partition of 1947. His first movie, Nagarik (1952) weaved the oppressive tale of a younger gentleman, his futile research for a job and the erosion of his optimism and idealism as his spouse and children sinks into abject poverty and his adore affair way too turns bitter. Ghatak then acknowledged a job with Filmistan Studio in Bombay but his ‘different’ thoughts did not go down well there. He did however generate the scripts of Musafir (1957) and Madhumati (1958) for Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Bimal Roy respectively, the latter getting an all time evergreen strike.

Soon after this temporary stint adopted by his comeback to his great previous Calcutta, he built Ajantrik (1958) about a taxi driver in a small city in Bihar and his car or truck, an old Chevrolet jalopy. An assortment of passengers gives the film a wider frame of reference and provided cases of drama, humor and irony.

On the other hand, his “magnum opus” takes place to be none other than Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960), the very first movie in a trilogy, inspecting the socio-economic implications of partition. The protagonist Nita (performed by Supriya Chowdhury) is the breadwinner in a refugee household of five. Anyone exploits her and the pressure proves too substantially. She succumbs to
tuberculosis. In an unforgettable minute, the dying Nita cries out “I want to stay…”, although the digital camera pans throughout the mountains, thus accentuating the indifference and eternity of character even as the echo reverberates in excess of the shot.

Complexities notwithstanding, Meghe Dhaka Tara reaches out to the viewers with its directness, its simplicity, and its unique stylistic use of melodrama. Melodrama as a genuine remarkable variety has ongoing to perform a vital role in rural Indian theatre and folks dramatic sorts. Ghatak goes back again to these roots in his presentation of a acquainted struggle for survival, which has misplaced its remarkable force and pathos by repetition in true life.
In Meghe Dhaka Tara, day-to-day gatherings renovate into superior drama: Nita’s tormented romance is intensified with the harsh sweep of the whiplash on the soundtrack Shankar’s tune of faith in a second of despair reaches the top of psychological surrender with Nita’s voice signing up for his and Nita’s urge to stay turns into a universal seem of affirmation reverberating in Nature, amidst the distant peaks of the Himalayas.

The 3 principal women people in this film embody the conventional features of feminine ability. The heroine, Nita, has the preserving and nurturing top quality her sister, Gita, is the sensual woman their mother represents the cruel component. The incapacity of Nita to blend and contain all these attributes is the imminent resource of her tragedy.

Apart from, here Ghatak attempts to delve deep into our roots and traditions and learn a common dimension in just it. And for the initially time, he suggests he experimented with the approaches of overtones. In the movie, Ghatak succeeds in accomplishing a grand totality by way of an intricate but harmonious blending of each component with the entire in the internal
fabric of the film. Meghe Dhaka Tara transcends into a terrific work of artwork that enriches and transforms the visible illustrations or photos into metamorphic significations…

The songs in the movie perfectly intermingles with the visuals, none dislodging the other be it a outstanding orchestration of a hill motif with a feminine moaning or a staccato cough with a surging song.

Below, it would be related to point out that Ghatak weaves a parallel narrative evoking the celebrated Bengali legends of Durga who is considered to descend from her mountain retreat just about every autumn to stop by her mother and father and that of Menaka. This double emphasis, condensed in the determine of Neeta, is rendered but a lot more intricate on the level of the
movie language alone via elaborate, at occasions non-diegetic seem consequences operating along with or as commentaries on the impression ( e.g. the refrain Ai go Uma kole loi, i.e. Occur to my arms, Uma, my little one, utilized as a result of the latter portion of the film, esp. on the confront of the rain-drenched Neeta soon before her departure to the sanatorium).
This technique enables the movie to transcend its story by opening it our towards the realm of myth and to the conventions of cinematic realism (e.g. evoked in the Calcutta sequences).

“Meghe Dhaka Tara” was followed with Komal Gandhar (1961), about two rival touring theatre corporations in Bengal and Subarnarekha (1965). The previous is a surprisingly disturbing movie making use of melodrama and coincidence as a form instead than
mechanical fact.

His next film, Titash Ekti Nadir Naam (1973), performed for a younger Bangladesh producer transpires to be concentrating on the life and eventual disintegration of a fishing local community on the Titash. Nevertheless, this epic saga was done right after quite a few difficulties at the taking pictures stage like his collapse because of to tuberculosis and was a business failure.

Notably, Jukti Takko Aar Gappo (1974), the most autobiographical and allegorical
of his films, was built just in advance of his premature demise. In this article, he himself performed the major function of Nilkanta, an alcoholic intellectual. The movie has been spoken about in critique circle for Ghatak’s amazing use of the vast-angle lens to most strong effect.

Regrettably for Ghatak, his movies were being largely unsuccessful. Several remaining unreleased for several years, he deserted just about as a lot of projects as he accomplished. Ultimately the depth of his enthusiasm, which gave his movies their electrical power and emotion, took their toll on him, as did tuberculosis and alcoholism. Even so he has remaining powering a restricted, but
subtly abundant and intricate body of work that no serious scholar of Indian Cinema can dare disregard.