Bengali Films of the Golden Age
There is not only beauty in the names of these films, but also a touch of literature. The locals weren’t so educated then. A large part of the cinema audience was illiterate. But these literary names didn’t confuse them, and they didn’t care much about the underlying meaning of the names. They had a firm belief that whatever the movie was called, the movie would be good. Using only the name of the picture, some wrote wonderful letters that were printed in various magazines.
Gradually, the quality of Bengali films began to decline. The beauty of the name of the image also decreases. There were several reasons behind this. The main reason is the arrival of the VCR in the early or mid-eighties. With the advent of VCRs, Bengali cinema began to be pirated in various ways. The wealthy started watching movies on VCRs at home. Gradually, the middle class also began to be attracted to VCRs. Not only Bengali movies but also foreign movies on VCR have become an opportunity to watch. At one point, much of the audience turned away from the movie theater. Movie theater owners were in trouble. They face huge losses. It started to affect the entire film industry.
Meanwhile, some filmmakers tried to appeal to a particular audience by producing films based on light and catchy stories. In the music, dialogues, dances of such films, obscenities began to occur. It created a special audience. Instead of beautiful, literary romantic dialogue, abusive, naughty dialogue became the mainstay of all of these films. Although this brought audiences into the movie theatre, educated and tasteful audiences began to turn away from the movie theatre. These poor quality films have also been victims of piracy. A gang started making pirated movie CDs and selling them. In this, the common audience also began to be attracted to CDs. The virtuoso directors have retreated.
The movie ‘Danga’ released in 1992 brought audiences back to the cinema. ‘Danga’ was a film of a different kind. The director was Kazi Hayat. In this film, the hero Manna’s extraordinary performance left a scar in the hearts of the audience. The diversity of the story attracts the audience. After a few years, the many films of Manna, Salman Shah, Shabnoor, Purnima and Moushumi gained popularity. And this period was also a brilliant chapter in Bengali cinema. The Salman Shah-Shabnoor pair created a golden chapter separately. But its durability was less.
The pirating of images continued. Thus, the fate of the movie theater could not be stopped. Additionally, the deaths of Salman Shah and Manna created a vacuum in Bengali cinema. Just when audiences turned away from the movie theater again and again, Humayun Ahmed produced some extraordinary movies. Among these, “Aguner Parshmani” (1994), “Shravan Megher Din” (1999), “Dui Duari” (2003), “Noy Numbar Bihal Sanket” (2006) became very popular. To see these films on the big screen, the public once again heads to the cinema. At this time, another different manufacturer appeared. And he was Tareq Masood. It also gave a different flavor to the audience. But the saddest thing is that Tareq Masood (2011) and Humayun Ahmed (2012) left everyone in a sea of grief and left prematurely. After they left, there was a big crisis in the production of wholesome films.
Good films have been made all the same. But the number of theaters began to decline dramatically. Theaters began to turn into malls and apartments. Moreover, the availability of satellite channels and the internet and the courtroom movie theater worked behind the hijacking.
Let’s go back to the golden age of cinema. There were several reasons behind the popularity of Bengali films at that time. The reasons are – skilled actors and actresses, a beautiful and tasteful story, a competent and dedicated director. Almost every movie had amazing songs that touched the heart. The best actors and actresses in the world of cinema from the mid-sixties to the mid-eighties – Razzaq, Alamgir, Javed, Wasim, Sohail Rana, Ujjal, Zafar Iqbal, Bulbul Ahmed, Ilyas Kanchan, Jaseem, Shabana, Babita, Kabri, Shabnam, Olivia, Sucharita, Rozina, Suvarna Mustafa captured the hearts of the audience in such a way that they became idols. Millions of young people in the country dreamed of becoming heroes. Trying to imitate clothes, the hairstyles of the favorite hero were more or less seen in almost all young people. Getting a big government job wasn’t as easy as becoming a movie hero. Because if you don’t have a beautiful physique, a strong voice, excellent acting, dancing and fighting skills, dreaming of becoming a hero is nothing but nonsense.
Songs played a major role in the popularity of films at the time. Some famous lyricists have enriched the musical repertoire of Bengali cinema by writing many timeless songs. Some of the best of them are Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal, Gazi Mazharul Anwar, Moniruzzaman, Md. Rafiquzzaman, Syed Shamsul Haque, Masud Karim, Amjad Hossain, Khan Ataur Rahman and some others. The timeless songs written by these great lyricists were dedicated to mother, father and husband. After all, many songs also contain signs of devotion to the Creator. In addition, there were romantic songs. The songs written in harmony with the story of the film had a great impact on the minds of the public.
The melodious melody, the magical intertwining of the lyrics and the sweet voice of the singer transported the audience to another world. A romantic song would delight the audience while a sad song would make the audience cry. These songs could melt the heart of stone, and some songs would bring peace to the troubled heart. The number of viewers who watched a movie multiple times just to listen to the music was not low. Around this time, exceptionally talented singers emerged who worked behind the scenes and put their voices on the lips of actors and actresses. Among them are Neena Hamid, Ferdowsi Rahman, Sabina Yasmin, Runa Laila, Shahnaz Rahmatullah, Abeda Sultana, Nilufar Yasmin, Anjuman Ara Begum, Shammi Akhtar, Kankchampa, Abdul Alim, Mostafa Zaman Abbasi, Abdul Jabbar, Syed Abdul Hadi, Khurshid Alam , Mahmudunnabi, Bashir Ahmed, Andrew Kishore and Subir Nandi etc.
Bengali cinema songs would not have been so popular and rich if talented artists like them had not been born. Moreover, some short-lived composers have taken Bengali cinema music to such heights by creating extraordinary melodies. Some of them are Abdul Ahad, Azad Rahman, Alauddin Ali, Khan Ataur Rahman, Satya Saha, Alam Khan, Subal Das, Sheikh Sadi Khan, Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul and Mukul Chowdhury. Their alternatives have not yet been developed.
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