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Chandranath Movie Review: A Classic Adaptation of Sarat Chandra Chatterjee's Novel
Chandranath is a 1957 Bengali romantic drama film directed by Kartick Chattopadhyay and based on the novel of the same name by Sarat Chandra Chatterjee. The film stars Uttam Kumar as Chandranath, a Brahmin who falls in love with Saryu, a widow's daughter, played by Suchitra Sen. The film explores the themes of caste, class, and social norms in the context of 19th century Bengal.
The film is considered to be one of the best adaptations of Sarat Chandra Chatterjee's works, and one of the finest performances of Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen, who were the most popular on-screen pair in Bengali cinema. The film also features a stellar supporting cast, including Chhabi Biswas, Tulsi Chakraborty, and Chandrabati Devi. The music by Robin Chatterjee is melodious and memorable, especially the songs "Smritir Bansari Kar" and "Mor Viru Se Krishnakali".
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The film begins with Chandranath losing his father and moving to Kashi to live with his father's old servant. There he meets Saryu and her mother Sulochana, who work in the servant's house. Saryu is a beautiful and innocent girl who has a passion for music. Chandranath is captivated by her charm and talent, and soon they fall in love. They get married secretly and return to Chandranath's home in Bengal.
However, their happiness is short-lived, as Chandranath's uncle Mani Shankar Mukherjee, who is a wealthy and orthodox Brahmin, disapproves of their marriage. He considers Saryu to be of low caste and unworthy of Chandranath. He also receives a letter from Haridyal Ghoshal, a lustful man who claims to have seen Chandranath and Saryu in an intimate situation in Kashi. Mani Shankar confronts Chandranath with the letter and accuses him of dishonoring his family name. Chandranath, who is proud of his lineage and reputation, loses his temper and kicks his pregnant wife out of the house.
Saryu takes refuge in her uncle's house, where she gives birth to a son. She suffers from poverty and humiliation, but never loses her faith in Chandranath. She hopes that one day he will realize his mistake and come back to her. Meanwhile, Chandranath is filled with remorse and guilt for his actions. He tries to find Saryu, but fails. He also learns that Haridyal Ghoshal's letter was a lie, and that he had tried to molest Saryu in Kashi. He feels betrayed by his uncle and decides to leave his home.
He goes to Kashi again, where he meets his wife and son at his uncle's house. He begs for Saryu's forgiveness and expresses his love for her. Saryu is overjoyed to see him, but also worried about his health. She notices that he has become weak and pale due to his suffering. She agrees to go back with him, but before they can leave, her uncle dies of a disease. Saryu performs his last rites and prepares to depart with Chandranath.
The film ends with a tragic twist, as Chandranath dies on the way due to a heart attack. Saryu is left alone with her son, but she does not lose hope. She decides to live for her son and for Chandranath's memory. She sings a song in his honor, as the screen fades to black.
Chandranath is a film that touches the heart with its poignant story and powerful performances. It is a testament to the timeless appeal of Sarat Chandra Chatterjee's novels and the brilliance of Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen as actors. It is a film that deserves to be watched and appreciated by all lovers of cinema.
[Chandranath (1957) - IMDb]
[Chandranath (1957 film) - Wikipedia]
[Chandranath (1957) - Uttam Kumar as Chandranath - IMDb]