I am a Probashi Bangali (Bengali born and raised outside Bengal). My brush with Bangla movies was through what my parents used to watch on Doordarshan (the only channel during my childhood) and a movie or 2 once a year when we visited Kolkata. To be honest, not all actors or movies interested me; partly because I grew up in a different environment and culture, partly because my Bangla vocabulary is not very strong, partly because I found few black and white movies outdated.
But Uttam Kumar and Soumitra Chatterjee’s movies never failed to evoke interest. Both actors were not just suave and great actors, they had a contemporary vibe to them. Both were equally loved by my parents’ generation and mine alike. Both were natural actors with charisma. Uttam Kumar passed away untimely and was a big loss.
Today another legend left us. I always remarked that Soumitra Chatterjee and Amitabh Bachchan are the only 2 legendary actors who are still fit, still acting, still smart and charismatic, still have the hunger for good work.Mr. Chatterjee’s loss is huge, irreplaceable. But till his last days he was active and continued doing what he loved the most, acting. Rest in peace.