With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, here’s a look at some romantic Bengali flicks to keep you comfy-cozy this February.
Bengali Beauty: Released in 2018; Directed by Rahsaan Noor; Genre Romantic/Comedy-Drama
The story goes back to 1975 when Afzal returns to Bangladesh from the US. With help from his father’s acquaintance, he lands a deejaying gig with the country’s public broadcaster, Bangladesh Betar. Soon, he gains popularity as an entertainer as his show Bengali Beauty proves to be a massive hit among Dhaka’s youth.
One of Afzal’s avid fans is Moyna, a medical student, whose marriage has already been arranged by her family. She falls in love with Afzal in the course of listening to his radio show. The two of them happen to meet at a charity drive. Gradually, they get entangled in a love affair. Afzal loses his job after criticizing the current government and for talking about a number of social issues on his talk show. Under the backdrop of political turmoil in the Dhaka of 1975, the protagonists have to face a lot of hurdles in their relationship.
This movie presents the events that occurred during the politically disturbed ‘70s of Bangladesh – a dash of history, visual delights from an era gone by, and a beautiful romantic relationship between Bengali Babu and Bengali Beauty.
Parineeta: Released in 2019; Directed by Raj Chakraborty; Genre Romantic/Drama
Mehul, a fun-loving girl has a crush on her tuition teacher, Babaida. Or to be more specific, she has a deep sense of affection towards him and believes he feels the same for her.
One day, Babaida tells Mehul that he has something to tell her. She believes that he is going to propose to her so she mixes abeer and vermillion together and waits with bated breath for him to break the news. Instead, Babaida introduces her to his new girlfriend on, whilst applying the abeer on her, unaware that it also contained vermillion. According to Hindu tradition, when an unmarried man applies vermillion to an unmarried woman, it implies that they have become man and wife.
Following this, Mehul is heartbroken and tries to avoid Babaida. But this is not the end of her tears. A few months later, Mehul learns that Babida has committed suicide. But Mehul is not convinced of this turn of events. As true lovers do, she undertakes a mission to unfold the truth behind Babaida’s death. A classic tale of love, revenge, and vindication.
Biswoshundori: Released in 2020; Directed by Chayanika Chowdhury; Genre Romantic Drama
This directorial debut of Chayanika Chowdhury pairs popular stars Siam and Pori for the first time.
Due to mishaps in the past involving beautiful women, Shadhin has taken a vow to stay away from beauties. When his mother starts looking for a suitable bride for him, Shadhin disagrees vehemently with her.
Shova is one such good-looking woman. She is the first choice in Shadhin’s mom’s eyes, not just because she’s beautiful, but also because the prospective couple’s moms are good friends. However, because of Shadhin’s vow of not giving his heart to a “shundori”, his mother instructs Shova to disguise as a plain Jane and meet Shadhin. Shova does as instructed. It so happens that the two genuinely fall in love for reasons related to the heart as opposed to looks. But one day, the truth behind Shiva’s staged appearance is let out and the plot takes on an interesting turn.
This movie tries to bring forth the message that a person’s outward appearance has little meaning compared to their inward appearance. Or in other words, looks aren’t everything. There’s a lot more to love than just physical beauty.
Monpura: Released in 2009; Directed by Giasuddin Selim; Genre Romantic Tragedy
The plot for this romantic tragedy is set in rural Bangladesh. A mentally disturbed man commits a murder but his domestic aide, Sonai, takes the blame on himself and is sent to live on an island called Monpura by the murderer’s influential, local-landlord father.
Here, Sonai falls in love with Pori, the daughter of a fisherman. The story gradually explores all the different aspects related to the rural image of Bangladesh, including how the poor are oppressed by the wealthy and how adverse habits impact them.
Still remembered to this day, Monpura is a project that movie-goers yearn more for.
Bela Sheshe: Released in 2015; Directed by Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee; Genre Family Drama
After Satyajit Ray’s massive hit project, Ghare Baire, veteran actors Soumitra Chatterjee and Swatilekha Sengupta return to the silver screen after three decades to recreate their magic.
Biswanath and Arati have been leading a happy married life for 49 years. Now it is time to celebrate their 50th marriage anniversary with their four married children who’re experiencing different levels of turbulence in their married lives.
One day, Biswanath announces his decision to divorce Arati. Whilst everyone is shocked by this decision and are unable to fathom the reasons behind it, a judge orders the couple to cohabit for 15 days together after which they can file for the divorce.
The family decides to make use of these 15 days on a vacation to their residence in Shantiniketan. During the course of this vacation, the couple’s children are able to get an insight into the minds of their parents who have also been each other’s partners for the past four decades. While eavesdropping, the kids are able to find out the real reasons behind Bishwanath’s reasons for filing for divorce. The movie delivers to the audience a message on the keys to a successful, long-term commitment towards one’s partner and an insight into wise, mature love.
Truth be told, any project by Soumitra Chatterjee has always been a masterpiece!