Last week, I happened to stumble upon program on Utpal Dutt on AIR Vividh Bharati during Radio Dxing(well, not exacting Dxing, more of radio station surfing) on the way to office. The moment you hear his name, lot of memories of his characters portrayed in Hindi movies run down, his typical voice, and facial expressions appear in front of you. He, of course, was great actor, of yester-years, with strong theater background(mainly Bangla theater).

During the program, there was mention of his movie Bhuvanshom, and there was a mention that, with this film, it is said that parallel cinema era started in Indian Film world. It also mentioned it was his first Hindi movie. I was perplexed, as I remembered watching this movie on YouTube, upon reading about it in couple of Marathi books, it being a classic work. I wanted to re-live that movie experience in this blog.

This film is almost 50 year old now. But the values it portrays are so true even now. Bhuvanshom is a railway officer who is about to get retired, a typical bureaucrat. He visits a remote town in Gujarat for inquiring about misdeeds of a ticket master of a particular station. The rest of the film is about different experiences he encounters in that village, portrayed in subtle manner. And you burst into laughter in every frame. The fun begins when he decides to try his hands with hunting of birds. He gets himself into trouble and is saved by a local Kathewadi village girl. She takes him to her house and treats her guest well. He gets impressed by girl’s simplicity, honesty and down to earth nature. The turning point of the film is when he is told that girl’s fiance is same ticket master for whom he was visiting the village in the first place. The film ends with scene where ticket master breaks the news that he has been forgiven of his misdeeds. The film captures the transformation of strict, typical bureaucrat into a kind-natured person, all acted very ably by Utpal Dutt.

I don’t understand the technicalities of the film media, so cannot appreciate it from that angle. But the story-line, acting and overall portrayal was quite enjoyable that you are stuck to your seat while watching…


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