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4 Actors Who Gave Best Performances For Bimal Roy

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Bimal Roy

No doubt Bimal Roy  was  one of the finest filmmakers  of  Hindi cinema, if not THE finest.

His  cinema captures the very essence  of life in its most pure and sublime form, rendering his characters so emotionally vulnerable that  you fear they  would come apart. But they never did. It is their inner resilience that makes them  so  memorable. Here are  the  actors who gave their  career-best performances  in  Bimal Roy’s cinema.

  1. Balraj Sahni in  Do Bigha Zameen(1953): As the emaciated rickshaw puller  Balraj Sahni actually plied the  rickshaw  on the streets of Kolkata, unrecognizable in his dirty dhoti and unkempt  appearance. When Om Puri played a rickshawallah  in Roland Joffe’s The  City Of Joy he modelled  his performance  on  Sahni’s  method acting.Some think Sahni was greater  in M S Sathyu’s Garm Hawa. I think the performance in Do Bigha Zameen is  incomparable.
  2. Kamini  Kaushal in  Biraj Bahu(1954):  After the amgic he created with Meena  Kumari in Parineeta and  every  heroine  of  the 1950s hankered to work with Bimal Roy. It was  as  if working with him gave their career  the indelibile  stamp of excellence.  In this  powerful adaptation  of Saratchandra’s novel  about  the wife  of a goodnatured but weak man taking charge  of his life, Kamini Kaushal scaled  heights  she  never  imagined she  could .Kaminiji later confessed she  was surprised  by her performance as too  by  Bimalada’s decision to sign her.  Madhubala  was  the first choice for this  luminous literary adaptation. But she was  too expensive.
  3. Dilip Kumar  in Devdas(1955):  Bimal Roy had several  options in mind for  Paro and Chandramukhi. But for Devdas it was  Dilip Kumar,  and only Dilip Kumar. A  stickler  for perfection, Bimalda   would have dropped  the project if  the Thespian  had said  no to  Devdas. Sure, this actor par excellence gave  powerful performances  in a slew  of films. But for me  it’s Devdas  all the way.
  4. Nutan  in  Bandini(1963): After  their triumphant togetherness  in  Sujata,  Bimal Roy and  Nutan were destined to come  together  for this,  the  director’s finest  film ever . But Nutan  had gotten married and decided to quit films. Apparently it was her  husband  who persuaded  her  to return.We shall remain  eternally indebted to him. To imagine  Bandini  without Nutan is to  imagine  Agra  without the Taj Mahal.Or  Parakh without Sadhana. But that’s another story.
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