To celebrate the golden jubilee of her father Bimal Roy’s film Sujata (1959), Rinki Bhattacharya is hosting a special show of the film at Metro cinema on November 25, because “classics like these are best seen on the big screen”.
Earlier, the Bimal Roy Memorial & Film Society had screened Do Bigha Zameen (1953) and Madhumati (1958) when the films turned 50. Roy’s last film was Bandini (1963) and Bhattacharya has big plans for that too three years from now.
Roy didn’t like his family visiting him on the sets, but Bhattacharya recalls one occasion when they turned up at the now defunct Mohan Studio in Andheri to watch the shooting of the song, Kali ghata chaye... “I remember wondering why Nutan, who had a fair complex, was looking so dark. Years later, I learnt that because she plays an untouchable girl in the film, an extra coat of make-up was applied,” says Bhattacharya, adding that with Kali ghata… and O sajna barkha bahaar aayi… (Parakh: 1960), her father immortalised the monsoons and she still remembers the lyrics every time she sees dark clouds or is caught in a shower.
She also reminisces about how Sunil Dutt, who was cast opposite Nutan in the film, came for the inauguration of the Bimal Roy Memorial and went on stage to point out that while many believed that a son carried on the parampara (traditions) of his father, in this case Rinki was doing a good job of it.
“I was really embarrassed by his profuse praises, but also touched when he handed me a cheque of Rs 10,000. It was the exact amount that my father had paid him,” she smiles, saying that Dutt’s daughter will be one of the special guests for the show. “I’m also trying to get Mohnish, Nutan’s son, and veteran actors Sulochana and Kamini Kaushal who acted in the film.”
Earlier in the year, when her sister had held a screening of the film in Hyderabad, the theatre was packed to capacity. Says Bhattacharya, “Sujata was one of my father’s most popular films and I expect Mumbai to be just as enthusiastic.”
To watch Bimal Roy’s Sujata, call 7208444867/26498427