wiki:Bhuvan Shome

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Bhuvan Shome

1969 111’(96’) b&w Hindi d/p/sc Mrinal Sen pc Mrinal Sen Prod. st Banaphool dial Satyendra Sharat, Badrinath c K.K. Mahajan m Vijay Raghava Rao lp Suhasini Mulay, Utpal Dutt, Sadhu Meher, Shekhar Chatterjee, Rochak Pandit, Punya Das; voice over by Amitabh Bachchan

Sen’s breakthrough film, a low-budget, FFC- sponsored hit, is sometimes seen as the origin of New Indian Cinema. The story, set in the late 40s just after Independence, was sarcastically summarised by Satyajit Ray as ‘Big Bad Bureaucrat Reformed by Rustic Belle’. It is a satirical comedy about the upright Bengali railway officer Bhuvan Shome (Dutt). He sacks a corrupt ticket collector (Meher) before going off on a duck-shooting expedition in Gujarat. There, in the dunes of Saurashtra, he meets the village belle Gauri (Mulay) who turns out to be the wife of the man he sacked. He has a long, and unstated, sexual/cultural encounter with her, enjoying the attention she lavishes upon him even as he remains anxious about his sudden loss of authority. He returns determined to enjoy life to the full. Sen described his first Hindi feature as Tati-inspired nonsense and suggested that the ending, with the ‘humanised’ bureaucrat boisterously disrupting the office routine, is difficult to grasp ‘unless you grant Mr Shome a certain touch of insanity. As you examine the sequence, you will see that the same can be said about the editing pattern, all erratic and illogical.’ Mulay went on to become a noted maker of radical documentaries while occasionally acting in independent films.