An analysis of Bimal Roy’s films and their depiction of people outside the ‘mainstream’
The Cinema of Bimal Roy: An ‘Outsider’ Within examines Roy’s adaptations of Bengali and Hindi literary classics while dwelling on his approach and treatment of women, a focal point of many of his films. It draws attention to his cinema of social relevance—untouchability (Sujata), woman deserted by society and family (Biraj Bou), child marriage (Parineeta) and the inhumanity of oppression and forced urbanization (Do Bigha Zameen).
The book goes on to discuss Roy’s ability to bestow new screen identities to established actors such as Nutan, Meena Kumari and Dilip Kumar on one hand and discover new talents such as Sunil Dutt, Sadhana and Tarun Bose on the other. Apart from this, his tutelage introduced many new faces to the film industry—Salil Choudhury, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Nabendu Ghosh and Gulzar among others.
Further, the book details the aesthetics of technique—cinematography, editing and sound—in Roy’s films; his movies had some of the best musical scores in Hindi cinema. It also analyses what made Madhumati his biggest commercial success.