Was Never a Fan of the Uttam-Suchitra Brand of Cinema: Soumitra

RBN Web Desk: Veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee has said that he was never a fan of the kind of films that had the Uttam-Suchitra pair in the lead. He could find nothing to redeem from their brand of cinema.

Bengal matinee idol Uttam Kumar and screen legend Suchitra Sen played the lead pair for the first time in Nirmal Dey’s 1953 comedy Sharey Chuattor. The film was a major box office hit. Uttam and Suchitra went on to repeat their successful pairing in at least 30 more films. Many of these films were blockbuster hits.

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Speaking to the media recently about his long career in the Bengali film industry, the octogenarian actor said, he mostly watched international films that were sensible and closer to reality. This helped him become a versatile actor instead of being typecast. He couldn’t match his tastes to the ‘wish-fulfillment’ (read: escapist) type of films that had Uttam and Suchitra in the lead, Soumitra said, adding that he watched international films whenever they were shown in Kolkata.

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Recalling her association with Suchitra, the thespian said, she was senior to him by a few years and would often advise him on how to retain stardom. Suchitra, however, always maintained a distance from her co-actors and the production unit, except perhaps Uttam Kumar and a few others to whom she was very close, Soumitra recalled.


Soumitra and Suchitra bonded well during the outdoor shoot of a film. Being a senior, Suchitra advised him not to mix with common people as that would dent his glamour. Soumitra, being Left inclined, was an active campaigner of the film industry trade union movement and would often walk in rallies.

The 83-year old actor merely nodded to Suchitra’s advice but never followed it. Suchitra had tremendous promise as an actress, but chose to appear only in a particular type of role, Soumitra said.

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