Veteran filmmaker Tarun Majumdar passes away at 91

Bengali film director Tarun Majumdar. File photo

Bengali film director Tarun Majumdar. File photo | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Veteran filmmaker Tarun Majumdar passed away in Kolkata on Monday. He was 91 and was undergoing treatment at the State-run SSKM hospital since June 14. The filmmaker was put on ventilator support on Sunday when his health deteriorated and he breathed his last at 11.17 am on Monday.

Majumdar was among the last of the great film directors from West Bengal who created a niche of their own, beyond the trinity of cinema legends such as Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, and Ritwik Ghatak.

The filmmaker, who was known for his sensitive portrayal of middle-class life and the human condition, is a four-time National Award winner and a Padma Shri conferree. Majumdar was born on January 8, 1931, in Bogra (now in Bangladesh). His father, Birendranath Majumdar, was a freedom fighter.

Majumdar directed his first film Chawa Pawa (1959), starring Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen, when he was only 27 years old. He then joined the directorial team Yatrik, which also included Sachin Mukherji and Dilip Mukherji. In 1962, the team came out with Kancher Swarga, which won the National Award for the best feature film in Bengali.

Some of Majumdar’s well-known films are Balika Badhu (1967), Kuheli (1971), Shriman Prithviraj (1973), Fuleswari (1974), Dadar Kirti (1980), Bhalobasa Bhalobasa (1985), and Apan Amar Apan (1990). He remade two of his hit films in Hindi — Balika Badhu (1976) and Rahgir (1969, adapted from his 1963 film Palatak). Among his critically acclaimed movies are Nimantran (1971), Sansar Simante (1975) and Ganadevata (1978).

Majumdar will also be remembered for the aesthetic picturisation of songs in his films, particularly the use of Rabindra Sangeet. The director is also known for giving opportunities to the then fresh faces in the Bengali film industry, such as Moushumi Chatterjee, Mahua Roychoudhury, Ayan Banerjee, and Tapas Paul.

Majumdar married actor Sandhya Roy, who acted in many of his films, however, the couple separated later. His last film, a docu-feature titled Adhikaar, was released in 2018. The film spoke about the struggles of the people working in the unorganised sector. 

Filmmaker Gautam Ghosh, while recalling his decades-long association with Majumdar, called him a guardian who gave a lot of films to the educated middle-class to cherish. Ghosh said that Majumdar was very meticulous in his work and that he would not start shooting till all the props of the scene were in order.

Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, condoled the demise of the filmmaker and said that Majumdar was a versatile filmmaker who shined as a great example for filmmakers who aspire to make social films.

Meanwhile, Majumdar’s family members have said that he did not want his body to be taken to Randindra Sadan or Nandan, Kolkata’s cultural complex, and that he didn’t want wreaths to be placed on his body. His mortal remains, instead, will be donated to a State-run medical college for reserach.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2022 11:50:42 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/veteran-filmmaker-tarun-majumdar-passes-away-at-91/article65598832.ece