#1 The reason why Bengali Cinema is known as Tollywood (Cinema of West Bengal) is because it originated from the Tollygunje region of Kolkata?
#2 Tollywood is the name shared by Cinema of West Bengal, and the Telugu Film Industry.
Bengali film industry with an enviable history and legacy has produced stalwarts like Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, Ritwick Ghatak, Utpal Dutt etc to name a few. The ingredients of Bengali film is quite unique from the rest, the films from Tollywood often juxtaposes commercial elements with independent artistic endeavours in order to create an amalgamation. This combination can separate the Bengali film industry from other regional industries and even Bollywood.
The following is the list of 2018 Bengali films which have reached out and entertained a global audience:
Humayun Kabir directed this film, starring Tanushree Chatterjee, Saayoni Ghosh and Priyanka Sarkar in the lead roles. Being Kabir’s debut film, ‘Aaleya’ impressed critics to no end. The film takes on sexism, communal tension, corruption in the police force, and history of partition, which allowed Aaleya to carve its own niche in a boatload of Tollywood releases. The film has been called out by critics for its plotholes, but ultimately received positive reviews.
Pratim D. Gupta’s movie ‘Ahare Mon’ released on June 22, 2018. The film boasts of an ensemble cast consisting of Adil Hussain, Paoli Dam, Ritwick Chakraborty, Anjan Dutt, Mamata Shankar and Parno Mitra. The movie showcases how the love between humans is interconnected and does not believe in any barriers, irrespective of age, caste, creed, or gender. Avijit Kundu created the soundtrack for the film. The film impressed critics and did a stunning business at the domestic box office.
Bhaijaan Elo Re
Joydeep Mukherjee directed this action-comedy, with Srabanti Chatterjee, Shakib Khan, Biswanath Basu, Rajatabha Dutta, Paayel Sarkar, and Kharaj Mukherjee in the pivotal roles. The film gives its take on the classic formula of doppelgangers living in each other’s shoes for a specific period of time, resulting in chaos. The film was released on 15 June, 2018, and has been praised for its editing and cinematography.
Colours of Life
This is a fairly recent addition to Tollywood’s range of movies. The movie, directed by Prakash Bharadwaj, released on July 6, 2018. Rituparna Sengupta tackles the role of a single mother in this film, with Patrali Chattopadhyay, Priyanshu Chatterjee and Bharat Kaul comprising the list of leads. The film depicts the difficulties that can arise as a single parent raises their child. The film has opened to positive reviews from critics, with the ending of the film being criticised, while the exploration of the relationship between a single mother and her daughter being praised.
Drishtikone is a Bengali film directed by Kaushik Ganguly. The romantic-drama features starring Prosenjit Chatterjee, and Rituparna Sengupta in lead roles.
Drishtikone tackles the problems of a lawyer and the client, whose attraction towards each other leads the pair to become more than professionally related. the film was released on 27th April 2018.
One of the most recent movies on this list, ‘Fidaa’ released on 13 July, 2018. Directed by Pathikrit Basu, the film stars Yash Dasgupta and Sanjana Banerjee in the lead roles. The movie tells the tale of two youngsters who are complete opposites of each other. Between clashes of emotions and situations, how the two manage to live their lives in the midst of chaos. The film has been praised by critics for its acting, while suffering from a mixing of different situations.
Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee’s film Haami, is a story of two friends; Bhutu and Chini, both are from different background. Bhutu’s parents, are rich furniture-shop owners and Chini’s parents, Srinjoy and Rina are academicians. When Bhutu gives Chini a peck on her check, their families and the school administration react badly and separate them putting an end to their friendship.
Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad, are amongst the few director duos in the history of Bengali cinema. They achieved success both critically and commercially in their very first film Icche (2011). Their films are known for directing socially significant entertaining films.
Saibal Banerjee directs this Paoli Dam starrer, with Adil Hussain and Aparajita Adhya also in the lead. The film talks about a life of longing and belonging, with Meghla (Paoli Dam) facing problems in leaving her ancestral home. A search for history amongst the turmoil of the partition of Bengal runs through the movie. The film opened to positive reviews from critics, with the script and narration bearing special praise.
Sonar Pahar features an ensemble cast, with Parambrata Chatterjee playing the role of both the lead and the director in the movie. Jisshu Sengupta, Srijit Mukherji, Soumitra Chatterjee, Tanuja and Arunima Ghosh comprise the cast. The drama deals with the rift and communication gap that has been created between a mother and her son. The film’s story, dialogue and acting have been praised by critics.
Sultan The Saviour
Sultan The Saviour is an action-drama helmed by Raja Chanda. The film’s cast includes Jeet, Mimi Chakraborty and Priyanka Sarkar in the leads. The film was released on 15th June, 2018, and depicted a tale in which a pair of siblings arrive in a big city full of dreams. However, in their bid for social climbing success, they get embroiled in a drug trafficking affair. The film has been praised by critics for its sheer entertainment value.
Total Dadagiri directed by Pathikrit Basu is an action-comedy which was released on 19th January 2018. The film’s lead cast includes of Yash Dasgupta and Mimi Chakraborty, and was made under the banner of SVF films. Total Dadagiri is a remake of the 2017 Telugu film Nenu Local starring Nani. The film made at around 2 crore budget, earned double the amount invested, thus was declared superhit.
Another work of Srijit Mukherji, it stars Jisshu Sengupta, Sara Sengupta and Anjan Dutt in the main roles. The film is based on the true story of Evan Leversage, who died of cancer. Based on this, Himadri’s (Jisshu’s character) daughter is terminally ill and living in Switzerland. She wants to experience the Bengali festival of Durga Puja. Himadri and Brahmananda (Anjan Dutt) try to recreate the occasion for her, as her dying wish. The film received positive reviews from critics and audiences, with praise drawn towards the storyline and acting.