On Rabindranath Tagore's 160th birthday, here's a look at five most memorable films that were adaptations of his stories

From Charulata to Choker Bali, these films capture the essence of Tagore's writing on celluloid

author_img Rishav Chatterjee Published :  07th May 2021 09:16 PM   |   Published :   |  07th May 2021 09:16 PM

Choker Bali and Tagore

It's Rabindranath Tagore's birthday 160th birth anniversary. While most literature enthusiasts and poetry afficionados know his work through his writing, film buffs will swear by the films that are adaptations of Gurudev's works. From the rich repertoire of Tagore films, we take a look at five of the most gripping narratives:

Choker Bali
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan made her debut in Bengali cinema with this film. She plays the character of Binodini, an estranged widow who gets involved in an affair with Mahendra, played by Prosenjit Chatterjee. Chokher Bali attacks a wide number of biases and stereotypes surrounding women using a very powerful medium. The film won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali in 2005.

Elar Char Adhyay
Directed by Bappaditya Banerjee, the film revolves around the life of Ela, who finds herself in a social dilemma while existing in a man’s world. The film is led by Indranath (Indraneil Sengupta) who is a leader of a gang of revolutionaries during the last years of the British Raj. The narrative is powerful and raises important questions about a woman’s role in our social strata.

Although not a commercially popular film, this movie premiered at the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival. Based on Tagore’s Kabuliwala, the film is set during the Taliban Regime in Afghanistan. Danny Denzongpa plays the role of Rehmat, a man who travels around with the sole intention of showing films to young children through his bioscope. The man ends up in Calcutta and befriends Minnie, a five-year-old girl played by Miraya Suri. 

Charulata focusses on the life of a lonely housewife, who falls in love with the smart and intellectual cousin of her husband. Directed by Satyajit Ray, the film does absolute justice to Tagore’s ideas and emotions throughout the story. Madhabi Mukherjee stars as Charulata and late Bengali actor Soumitro Chatterjee plays the character of Amal, the cousin. This film is considered to be one of the finest films ever made in India.

Another Rituporno Ghosh gem, Noukadubi follows a newly-married couple in Calcutta, who meet with an  accident and end up as the only survivors. The film raises the question if true love really exists? The film won The National Award for best art direction by Indranil Ghosh.