A gentleman actor

Bikash Roy   | Photo Credit: HINDU PHOTO ARCHIVES

“Ayi kotha keno bolchen” which translated in English means “Why are you saying this?” These were Bikash Roy’s words with a questioning look in “Arogya Niketan” directed by Bijoy Bose. The scene was so effective that after viewing this classic, Pahari Sanyal complimented Bikash Roy for his faultless performance. Whilst presenting “Uttar Falguni”, Uttam Kumar admitted Bikash Roy was the ideal actor to perform the lawyer’s character in the film. Though the theme of the film centred on Suchitra Sen, Bikash Roy acted with characteristic aplomb in it. This Hindi remake of this movie starred Ashok Kumar, Suchitra Sen and Dharmendra.

So effective was Roy as a tyrant police officer in “42” written and directed by Hemen Guptathat a viewer threw his chappal (slippers) on the screen being agitated by the actor’s villainy. Bikash Roy accepted it as a true accolade. In the same director’s “Bhuli Nai”, Bikash Roy underplayed with finesse and proved his versatility. One hardly remembers a film in which his performance was below average.

In post-independent Bengali cinema, Roy was a parallel actor, who performed effortlessly. He was versatile and his sense of timing admirable. He was not the ideal star like Pramathesh Barua or Uttam Kumar. He was not an iconic actor like Chhabi Biswas or Pahari Sanyal. If his contemporary Kali Banerjee was unpredictable and unmatched, the straight forward Bikas Roy was a naturally gifted actor. His approach to acting was certainly more cinematic than Utpal Dutt or Ajitesh Bandopadhyay who were theatrical on screen.

A commanding screen personality, modulated dialogue delivery and sharp expressions were Bikash Roy’s assets. He initially had a walking style which was not too impressive. Mrinal Sen put special effort to make his walk appear appropriate in “Neel Akasher Neechey”. Knowing his lacunae, Bikash Roy rehearsed and practised hard improving his walk in “Jighansa”, “Jiban Trishna” and “Jatu Griha”.

Ajay Kar, Asit Sen, Bijoy Bose and Tapan Sinha worked wonders with Bikash Roy on screen. Villainy, character roles, cameos everywhere he left his mark. He also attempted direction and was equally efficient behind the camera directing “Marutirtha Hinglaj”, “Raja Saja” and “Kajal Lata”. Bikash Roy worked successfully with all leading actors of his era. He shared a special rapport with Uttam Kumar and both acted in umpteen memorable films. After Uttam Kumar’s early demise in 1980, Bikash Roy broke down saying Uttam Kumar was far superior to him in acting.

The twitch of an eyebrow in “Suryatonon”, a rare élan in “Sesh Anka” and hilarious controlled performances in “Chhadmabeshi” and “Ogo Bodhu Sundari” remain testimonies of his acting abilities. Madhabi Mukherjee feels Bikash Roy could surpass any co-actor if he received the right opportunity. Dhritiman Chatterjee admits Bikash Roy’s contributions to Bengali cinema are really significant.

A through gentleman, highly educated and true professional, Bikash Roy received respect from the entire Bengali film fraternity. It is a tragedy Kolkata International Film Festival paid no tribute to the legendary actor and director on his centenary.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 7:31:46 PM |

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