Round Up 2019 – Best Directors of Bengali cinema in the year 2019

  • December 30, 2019
  • by Mukesh Jha

Before the end of the year it is time to look back and do a recap of the year 2019. In Bengali cinema, this year some established directors continued to make good movies but many upcoming directors also impressed us with their work. In fact some of them made their directorial debut and managed to make a mark. We will definitely look forward to their future works.

Here comes the list of Best directors of Bengali cinema in the year 2019 in no particular order.

Kaushik Ganguly (Bijoya, Nagarkirtan, Jyeshthoputro) – Kaushik Ganguly is a master story teller who always comes up with unconventional yet engaging subjects. In 2019 he had three releases as a director and  each one set example of his excellent story telling.

With Bijoya he directed a sequel for the first time. It was a continuation of his masterpiece Bishorjon. In Bijoya he bring back the much loved characters from the first part and place them in a completely new plot keeping the basic characteristics of the characters intact. Of course the film was impressive as a sequel but it worked well as a stand alone film also.

Nagarkirtan is one of his finest film till date. Many directors have made movies about a woman trapped in a man’s body, about same sex relationships, about transgenders but Kaushik Ganguly’s Nagarkirtan combined all these topics efficiently in a sweet love story. His authentic representation of the world of transgenders is praise worthy. In fact he showed confidence in many non actor transgenders to play the supporting characters and that helped the film to get authenticity.

In Jyeshthoputro , he worked on a story idea which was originally conceived by Late Rituporno Ghosh. In this film, Kaushik Ganguly captured many layers of complex human emotions through a simple narrative. In the hand of some immature director, it could have easily turned out to be a melodramatic ego clash story between two brothers but Kaushik Ganguly handled it with maturity.

Srijit Mukherji (Shah Jahan Regency, Vinci Da, Gumnaami) – In 2019, for the first time in his career, Srijit Mukherji had three releases in one year. From emotional drama to psychological thriller to a film based on true historical events, he tried his hands on various topics those were as different as chalk and cheese.

Shah Jahan Regency will never be mentioned as one of his best work but one must admit he had nicely adapted the fascinating story of Chowringhee in the backdrop of modern time, keeping the basic emotions of the characters same. Most of the film was shot at real locations of different luxury hotels in the city and it must have been a challenge for the whole team. Srijit handled that challenge quite well being both the director and the co-producer.

Undoubtedly Srijit Mukherji can make best crime thrillers in the current generation of directors in Bengali cinema as he never repeat the story telling pattern for his thrillers. Unlike his earlier crime thrillers, Vinci Da was not a whodunit suspense thriller rather this time he narrated the story through a different perspective by focusing more on the purpose of the crime and the mental state of the killer. It did not remain limited to a crime thriller only but beautifully highlighted the contribution of the technicians during the making a of a film through the story of a make-up artist.

Srijit’s best work of this year was the puja release Gumnaami. Directing a film based on true historical events is always a tough job. To create that historical ambiance with perfection that too in a limited budget is not an easy task. Besides that he had another challenge to presents some unknown historical truths with the risk of inevitable controversy. Srijit Mukherji faced both the challenges bravely with his expertise as a story teller.

Also Read : Best performances by Female actors in Bengali cinema in 2019

Indraadip Das Gupta (Kedara) – With his debut attempt, music composer turned director Indraadip Das Gupta surprised everyone with his strong visions as a story teller. In Kedara, he aesthetically captured the psyche of a lonely man and the world around him which is an amalgamation of imagination and reality. In a very minimalistic way he expressed a lot. There were several instances in the film where he had intentionally kept many things unsaid which showed his trust in the intellect of his audience. He has definitely set high expectation for his next movies as a director.

Pritha Chakraborty (Mukherjee Dar Bou) – So far Pritha Chakraborty had directed some much appreciated short films but in 2019 she made a promising debut as a feature film director with Mukherjee Dar Bou. It was yet another emotional drama from Windows Production where social message was combined with middle class household problems but the treatment to the film was much different from the earlier movies on similar topics by the same production house. Pritha never tried to copy the narrative style of the experts of this genre Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy, rather she narrated the story in her own style. As a story teller, she definitely knows how to connect with the audience. Also she knows to make a big impact in a very limited budget.

Sudipto Roy (Kia And Cosmos) – Director Sudipto Roy made an excellent debut with Kia And Cosmos. Kudos to him for choosing such an unusual subject for his debut film. It was a very personal film for him that he made purely for the creative satisfaction without considering of its business perspective. He never made any kind of compromises to make it more appealing in terms of business, his only focus was to narrate a story close to his heart. His earnest effort paid off in the final outcome and the film became an experience to be cherished for longer time.

Shiboprosad Mukherjee & Nandita Roy (Konttho, Gotro) – There is a generic convention that, if a film is dealing with a serious issue then it has to look and feel serious and it has to be limited to festival circuits mostly. But director duo Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy have proved it wrong by infusing serious socially relevant issues in complete mainstream mass appealing movie format, remaining true to the seriousness of the subject. In 2019 they continued to the same with not one but two movies Konttho and Gotro.

Konttho was an inspirational story inspired by true events from the life of a Laryngeal cancer patient.  On the other hand in Gotro they brought up the topic of the importance of humanity over any religion. The director duo definitely deserves credit for creating awareness about such important topics through their films. Subtlety is the least expected thing from the duo, every emotion in their films is supposed to be loud. Many people now consider this style of film making as old fashioned but the truth is that , there is a huge section of audience who still enjoys this way of story telling provided the ingredients have been served properly. Shiboprosad-Nandita duo is certainly the masters in this style of story telling.

Pradipta Bhattacharyya (Rajlokhi O Srikanto) – After making a much appreciated directorial debut with Baakita Byaktigato in 2013, Pradipta Bhattacharyya made a comeback to full length movies with Rajlokhi O Srikanto which released this year. He is a true independent film maker who hardly cares to go by rules. With Rajlokhi O Srikanto he choose to make a personal adaptation of a hugely popular novel. The way he experimented with the original story that shows his creative genius. One must praise him for making nature as an important character of the narrative. Also he deserves credit for incorporating  music with such brilliance in the story.

Sayantan Ghosal (Sagardwipey Jawker Dhan) – In 2019, Sayantan Ghosal came up with the second installment of his Jawker Dhan franchise Sagardwipye Jawker Dhan. It was a visually enriched film made on a large scale with extensive use of visual effects. A director has to be very much clear with his vision and his homework must be perfect to make a movie where vfx plays an important part. While shooting the film, lots of things were not present there in real and it has to be imagined only at that time. Most of the members in the cast and crew of the film were new to this process and in such a situation as the director, Sayantan Ghosal played an important role to bring everyone in the crew on the same page. One must appreciate Sayantan Ghosal for efficiently doing that.

Also Read : Best performances by Male actors in Bengali cinema in 2019

Aparna Sen (Ghawre Bairey Aaj) – Aparna Sen has proved herself as an influential  story teller many times and there is nothing new to prove in that but in some of her recent works she was not able to connect with the audience properly. In 2019 with Ghawre Bairey Aaj, she made a solid comeback. It was one bold film that brought the issues of current turbulent socio-political scenario. Besides being a noted filmmaker, Aparna Sen is also known for being vocal about the current socio-political situation of the nation. Often she keeps expressing her views through various platforms, the film Ghawre Bairey Aaj was an extension of that. But she did not choose to make a propaganda film rather she made a thought provoking film based on a relevant subject giving importance to the point of views from both the sides. Everyone may not be in sync with her point of view but no one can ignore the film as it has the elements that grabs attention.

Arindam Sil (Mitin Mashi) – Arindam Sil has already mastered the art of making detective thrillers, his movies of Byomkesh and Shabar franchise proves that. But he is not someone who like to sail through in his comfort zone forever. In 2019, he tried to so some experiment in the popular genre of detective thrillers by introducing the female detective character Mitin Mashi  on big screen. Whenever Arindam Sil makes a detective film, his movies does not remain just a whodunit crime thriller rather he skillfully adds some drama revolving around human emotions in those films. Mitin Mashi was also not an exception. It wonderfully captured the emotional side of Mitin along with her skills as a detective. Once again Arindam Sil proved an engaging thriller does not necessarily need to look slick and pacy with big budget, one can make an engaging thriller with a simple narrative and a minimal budget as well.

Also Read – Best Bengali movies of the year 2019

Besides these talented directors there were some other directors who deserves a special mention for their remarkable work in the year 2019.

Churni Ganguly – Tarikh

Shiladitya Moulik – Sweater

Ranjan Ghosh – Ahaa Re

Dhrubo Banerjee – Durgeshgorer Guptodhon

Pratim D Gupta – Shantilal O Projapoti Rohoshyo

Raj Chakraborty – Parineeta

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