Ogo Bodhu Sundari (2010) Bengali Movie Review - Babul Supriyo in the role of Uttam Kumar Chatterjee

By Aditya Chaktabarty

Watch a audio song promo from Ogo Badhu Sundari (2010)

Calcutta, Oct 22, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Ogo Bodhu Sundori (Bangla, 2010), the latest version of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion is based on the 1980 Uttam Kumar-Moushmi Chatterjee Kolkata Bengali classic film Ogo Bodhu Sundari (also starring Sumitra Mukherjee, Santosh Dutta, Ranjit Mullik, Bikash Roy etc). This film which was Uttam Kumar’s last film (at least by way of shooting) has always been one of his most popular films and has been the Mahanayak’s swansong. To make a remake of this film would have required careful planning in selecting the characters and screenplay so as to even get close to the classic. Well, the director fails here in a miserable way.

  • Buy the original OGO BODHU SUNDARI Bengali classic on DVD movie for $7.12 shipped worldwide - click here.

This particular film has been in the news in recent times because of the court case involving the producer of the original 1980 classic and the director-cum-producer of the present version. Kamal Bansal, son of R. D. Bansal who produced the earlier version had filed a case against the director accusing him of copying the logo and three songs from the original film. The present film’s producers had said that RDB Films had asked Inreco Records to market the songs used in the old film. It is at the discretion of the music company to decide whether it would allow any other company to use the songs. Bansal had to say that they had given the rights to Inreco (the record label) to make records of the songs, but it did not mean they could give rights to any other film to use the songs in those films. As a result of the case, the film could not be released on the scheduled date of release and has been released after a month, that too after an out-of-court settlement which has finally ended the terrible mess. As a result all the three songs regarding which there was a dispute are all there in the film as well as the logo of the film which has been retained. The producer has already had a huge loss for the delay.

The film is not even a touch of the old classic. That was much more on the lines of My Fair Lady and Pygmalion, but this film has not been made like a Pygmalion as the plot has been changed a little and actually in fact it is a big mess.

Professor Uttam Kumar has small tiffs from time to time with his wife. He forgets their anniversary. His wife is furious and storms out of the house and goes away to her grandmother’s house. Both husband and wife have no parents and while Uttam has his grandfather who is alive, his wife has her grandmother who is alive. Uttam does not know how to get his wife back so he turns to his brother-in-law to help him out. His brother suggests that he should be inspired by Uttam Kumar’s Ogo Bodhu Sundari inspired in turn by Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion and should use that method to get back his wife.

The professor gets a call from a gentleman who had read his article in an international magazine and wants to meet him on certain matters. He tells his grandfather who suggests taking his brother-in-law along with him. Uttam and his brother-in-law go to Santiniketan and met the gentleman Mr.Madison. After meeting him, they go out at night to watch a local tribal dance. Over there they come across a local tribal girl Phoolmoni who becomes the answer to Moushumi Chatterjee in Ogo Bodhu Sundori.

Uttam decided to teach her a song, but she just can't get her pronunciation right. Uttam decides to come back to Kolkata. After coming back he discovers that Phoolmoni has come back with them as she was hiding in his car. He decides to teach her music and get her pronunciation right and make her a lady.

Meanwhile Sucharita, Uttam’s wife is furious over this matter as she gets minute details of everything that is going on in their house thanks to their man servant. Sucharita is advised on further steps by her grandmother while Uttam is being advised by his grandfather. Sucharita’s grandmother wants her to go away to London to her brother and she need not return to Uttam. Phoolmoni asks Uttam to marry her which Uttam does not want, so he asks his brother-in-law to pretend to woo her. He tries to get them together. He is successful in doing so and even organizes their marriage with the help of his grandfather.

In the meantime, Phoolmoni has also learnt how to sing and improved her pronunciation. Sucharita arrives at Uttam’ s house after coming to know of the marriage and thinks that he is getting married to Phoolomoni. Her grandmother even arrives there. She insults Phoolmoni in ‘English’ and tries to slap her, but is prevented from doing so by Phoolmoni herself who gives her a fitting reply back in English. Everyone is shocked including Uttam. It turns out that Phoolmoni though is a tribal is actually a Ph.D. in Tribal Welfare from London and is Uttam’s brother-in-law's girlfriend!

This plot was hatched by Phoolmoni, Uttam’s brother-in-law and his grandfather as otherwise others would not have accepted their marriage. Everyone has a good laugh.

One should not even try to compare the classic Ogo Bodhu Sundori with the latter because whenever you try to compare an original with a new version, one will never enjoy the new version. However for the original everything had been right - acting, screenplay, the songs, the plot. Everything had fallen into place. Over here nothing falls into place. It is a terrible concoction. The director has been heavily inspired by the Mahanayak to make this film which is why right from the beginning till the end we see photos in the film as well as made to feel his presence more so by the director and that is where we even miss the original more so badly. Mahanayak will be Mahanayak and we are just made to think of him all the time. The songs are not upto the mark; the plot is extremely hackneyed and disengaging.

The right people have not been chosen for this kind of film and specially when you choose Babul Supriyo in the lead for this kind of a film, it's probably the biggest mistake you have made. One should have selected an actor of some claibre to carry out a role to even make a small impression anywhere near to the Mahananyak, but Babul is a terrible actor and you feel at times that even he is failing terrible to enact a role which was the Mahanayak’s swansong. The other names in the star cast are big names and names which can attract people to a theater and that is another problem. The plot is not too tight and the performances are even a bigger letdown. Monami Ghosh who has appeared in her first big role in a feature film after appearing in numerous TV shows and serials is not too bad as Phoolmoni and Srilekha is okay, but Kharaj just can't be Santosh Dutta. Neither can Arnab, a newcomer be Ranjit Mullick. One can easily say the biggest two disadvantages of this film are the songs for which there was such a hue and cry and secondly Babul Supriyo. He should not appear in another film in a while. Even the shaving sequence of the Mahanayak and Ei To Jiban have been copied and Babul’ s name in the film is Uttam Kumar Chatterjee!

One just felt that if Mahnayak was an onlooker towards the proceedings he must have been extremely dismayed at the extremely shoddy outcome of a distinctly copied version of his swansong.

Oh! What a wastage of time and money fighting each other when the main matter is a complete zero.