Seething quietude- Nutan in film ‘Bandini’
The photographer of P.C.Barua’s film ‘Devdas’,
editor of the all times musical great ‘Mahal’; director of the
classics ‘Do Bigha Zamin’ & ‘Devdas’; the genius -Bimal Roy
produced and directed yet another classic ‘Bandini’ in the year 1963,
starring Ashok Kumar and Nutan.
The film was based on a fascinating story of
Jarasandh, a famous Bengali novelist, who was a jailor by profession. The
narrative depicts a female prisoner Kalyani (enacted by
Nutan) serving eight years imprisonment on a murder charge.
The screen-tale goes in the flash back.
Kalyani, daughter of a village post-master meets and falls in love
with the revolutionary freedom fighter Vikas Ghosh (played by Ashok Kumar)
who accepts her as his wife. But the circumstances separate them before
they are married according to customs.
Perturbed by gossips amongst the village folk,
Kalyani leaves her home and lands at her friend’s place in Allahabad.
Thereafter for her survival, she accepts the petty job of an attendant at
a Nursing Home. Here, she is made to look after a female patient suffering
from hysteria, who turns out to be the wife of Vikas Ghosh.
One day on getting the news of her father’s
The mental agony of Kalyani charged with depression
and such a tragic situation portrayed through some remarkable images like
-pumping of kerosene stove, sound of the flames, sparks of welding,
hammering the iron in the vicinity
(shown across the window of
the Nursing Home) and consequent poisoning through the cup of tea prepared
for the patient (Vikas’ wife); the
totality of sequences depicted was
indeed a marvel of the director. Yet, the fact remains that but for the
acting of Nutan, it was simply impossible.
It must be conceded that in the role played by
Nutan in these scenes for ‘Bandini’, she created a history in the
annals of acting of Indian cinema. The calm, subdued, depressed and subtle
characterization of Kalyani in jail acted by Nutan in the film is simply
matchless. The complete portrayal of such sequence of events, is indeed
unique in the field of
direction, editing, lighting and also camera.
The story line moves further and Kalyani convicted of murder charge lands in the jail where the doctor (the maiden role played by Dharmendra) attending to the prisoners is attracted towards Kalyani. She refuses to respond to the doctor in view of her past events. Dejected, the jail doctor resigns.
In the final episodes of the film, once again Bimal
Roy impresses the viewers with the genius of his direction, already having
been witnessed in one of his
previous classics -‘Devdas’ (1953).
After serving the sentence in jail; Kalyani is at
the scene of remarkably created waiting area of steamer-cum-rail road
station of Maniharighat. The images created through smoke coming out of a
steam-engine and also from the chimney of the steamer portray her state of
mind. Also the mental conflict of Kalyani picturised through these
visuals, whether to board the train and to be with the doctor (who is
still waiting for her); or to board the steamer where she may join Vikas
Ghosh. The totality of the scenes are some unforgettable achievements of
Nutan’s dominant portrayal of her role stuns the mind of the viewers!
Conclusively, it will not be an exaggeration to say that if Nargis is known for her roles in films ‘Jogan’ and ‘Mother India’; Meena Kumari for ‘Sahib Bibi Aur Gulam’; Suchitra Sen for -‘Devdas’; the performance of Nutan in ‘Bandini’ also will be remembered by the viewers of cinema for all times to come.
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