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Palatak (Film) - a review of a hidden gem in Bengali cinema

Bengali film industry has been witness to both kinds of films: mainstream popular films as well as so called "Art films" for the intellectuals. While the former type has mainly centered around pure entertainment and star-driven drama on screen, the latter type has portrayed the social issues, struggle of people and society in Bengal and been christened as largely "different" or "parallel" film genre, predominantly fueled by the great film makers like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak and likes. This new film wave began with the world wide recognition of Ray's Pather Panchali in 50's and gained momentum in following years and decades. But few films from the producers of former type, did manage to transcend the boundaries of mainstream and parallel films genres. "Palatak" film, released on 21st June, 1963 was one of such category of bengali films.

The film "Palatak" centres around the protagonist's wanderlust and affinity towards exploration of different culture, people, society by not limiting his life to the confinement of an average stagnant human life carrying out all the human duties expected from a man of that era. Though he has been shown to have hailed from an affluent family, he would be devoid of any craving for materialistic life. That doesn't mean he would adopt an ascetic life, but he would enjoy mingling with different people and living their lives without having any hesitation or without having any reservation due to prevailing social divide.

The story or narrative was indeed, different from that of other mainstream films. But that is not the only distinctive characteristic of this film. Its awe-inspiring cinematography, screenplay, soundtrack and powerful performance by the lead actors: Anup Kumar, Ruma Guhathakurta, Sandhya Roy, raised the bar quite high. The film was directed by a group of eminent film makers led by Tarun Majumdar, who was expert in portraying human emotion-based drama on silver screen. This film has been considered to be one of the finest from the actor Anup Kumar and director Tarun Majumdar, but unfortunately, it rarely finds recognition in our usual bengali film memorabilia!


Watch the full movie:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0Zh8GVhrQ8



Original Soundtrack from the film:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyb3RTzV-Co



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