Tag Archive > Swapan Mullick

Mahanayak Revisited: The World of Uttam Kumar

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Mahanayak Revisited: The World of Uttam Kumar, Swapan Mullick, book reviewOddly enough, despite the fact that he passed away in 1980 no one has yet written an English biography of Bengal’s first superstar till senior journalist Swapan Mullick took up the challenge posed by Tranquebar and tried to make sense of the legend and the madness. He starts with the rumour that crept round the shabby Tollygunge studios in the 1970’s that Uttam Kumar was leaving Calcutta for Mumbai and this time for good. Bengal’s superstar had yet to make his mark in Hindi films, mainly because his Hindi pronunciation left much to be desired and his voice was too well known to be dubbed.

Mullick organizes Uttam Kumar’s life into various chapters that deal with his co-stars : Sabitri Chatterjee, Suchitra Sen, Supriya Devi who became his live in partner, his relationship with Satyajit Ray, who refused to use him in most of his films, barring Nayak which was based on the legend of a superstar and asked Uttam Kumar to delve into his darker side, influences from Hollywood for some of the films he acted in and his art compared to that of the other leading actors of the time.

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