Yesterday I wrote about how I adore the mother and grandmother of the Indian actress Riya Sen, who is being romantically linked with Salman Rushdie. I like her mother, Moon Moon Sen’s coquettish charm, but no Indian actress can compare with her grandmother, Suchitra Sen.
Suchitra Sen is like Greta Garbo. Hauntingly beautiful, she left the movie business in her prime and remains a legend.
The films she starred in opposite Uttam Kumar, another legendary actor, in the 1950s and 60s were some of the most romantic movies ever made. Here is a scene from one of their movies. Newly wed, they are still wearing the garlands and traditional Bengali wedding garments.It is very different from Bollywood starrers.
This was the Bengali ideal of romance in the 50s, 60s and a good deal later, I suppose. My wife is a great fan of Uttam Kumar and she has seen every film starring him and Suchitra Sen. I saw them with her when we started dating and after we got married. We saw this film together. The Bengali movie industry never fully recovered from the death of Uttam Kumar in 1980 and the internationally acclaimed filmmaker Satyajit Ray in 1992. Ray directed Uttam Kumar in Nayak (Hero), where Uttam Kumar played himself, a movie star.