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The Cinema of Bimal Roy

The Cinema of Bimal Roy
An 'Outsider' Within

First Edition

June 2017 | 272 pages | SAGE India

An analysis of Bimal Roy’s films and their depiction of people outside the ‘mainstream’

The Cinema of Bimal Roy: An ‘Outsider’ Within examines Roy’s adaptations of Bengali and Hindi literary classics while dwelling on his approach and treatment of women, a focal point of many of his films. It draws attention to his cinema of social relevance—untouchability (Sujata), woman deserted by society and family (Biraj Bou), child marriage (Parineeta) and the inhumanity of oppression and forced urbanization (Do Bigha Zameen).

The book goes on to discuss Roy’s ability to bestow new screen identities to established actors such as Nutan, Meena Kumari and Dilip Kumar on one hand and discover new talents such as Sunil Dutt, Sadhana and Tarun Bose on the other. Apart from this, his tutelage introduced many new faces to the film industry—Salil Choudhury, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Nabendu Ghosh and Gulzar among others.

Further, the book details the aesthetics of technique—cinematography, editing and sound—in Roy’s films; his movies had some of the best musical scores in Hindi cinema. It also analyses what made Madhumati his biggest commercial success.


Preface (On a Personal Note…)
Bimal Roy—Life, Influences and the Auteur (1909–1966)
Literary Adaptations—Udayer Pathey, Do Bigha Zamin and Baap Beti
Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay—Parineeta, Biraj Bahu and Devdas
The Woman Question—Sujata and Bandini
The Role of Music, Song and Dance
Summing Up: Was Bimal Roy a Displaced ‘Outsider’?
Filmography: The Directorial Films of Bimal Roy

The book “remaps” the ‘Bimal Roy Era’ detailing: his directions, the history of his films and their making and, film content analysis – corroborating each with previously written books and papers on him and cinema in general. The book establishes itself as a posthumous tribute to the legend and his cinema – his “rich and informed creative discourse… which will continue to dot the history of Indian cinema forever.”

Governance Now, 31 August 2017

A very informative and well-researched book on a filmmaker who has not till now received the critical acclaim as some of his contemporary directors have received.


The Sunday Statesman, 17 September 2017

Shoma A. Chatterji

Dr Shoma A. Chatterji is a freelance journalist, film scholar and author based in Kolkata. She has won two National Awards for Best Writing on Cinema—Best Film Critic in 1991 and Best Book on cinema in 2002. She won the Bengal Film Journalists Association’s Best Critic Award in 1998, the Bharat Nirman Award for excellence in journalism in 2004, a research fellowship from the National Film Archive of India in 2005–2006 and a Senior Research Fellowship from the PSBT Delhi in 2006–2007. She has authored 22 books on cinema and gender and has been a member of jury at several film festivals in India and abroad. She holds a master’s degree in... More About Author

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ISBN: 9789386062864