Suchitra Sen , the dusky beauty from Bengal, was the first Indian actress to receive international recognition when she was bestowed with the Best Actress Award at the Moscow International in 1963. Adored by millions & comfortably placed in her home State Bengal, the enigmatic beauty ,as she was commonly called, agreed to work in “Devdas” at the behest of Bimal Roy. As most readers are well aware, the film is rated as a classic of 1950s featuring thespian Dilip Kumar alongside no less talented Vyjanthimala, another beautiful actress who later made it to the top slot. The film has a dramatic nay tragic end.
Devdas who once loved Paro become infatuated with a notch girl Chandramukhi . Excessive drinking makes his health deteriorate considerably. Knowing his death is imminent Devdas reaches the village in a cart driven by bollocks to fulfil his promise to meet Paro .He dies outside her house on a ‘chaupaal’ on a cold winter night.Paro rushes to see him but her family members do not allow her to step out ;the main gate is immediately fastened. Thus the story of two childhood ‘love birds’ ends with an unhappy note.
The film received many nominations winning the Best Actor Filmfare Award for Dilip Kumar, the Best Supporting Actor for Moti Lal & Best Actress in Supporting Role for Vyjayanthimala which she refused to accept as she felt Paro’s character was no less shiningly meritorious & deserved recognition.
Sen was later cast in “Bombay Ka Babu” ( 1960),directed by Raj Khosla.The film though reflected mild incestuous overtones, was liked by a large section of cine goers .”Chal Ree Sajni,Ab Kya Soche,kajra Na Beh Jaye Rote Rote” wonderfully penned,composed & rendered. Asit Sen “Mamta”( 1966) featuring Dharmendra was yet another films the actress worked in.The film had a fee lovely numbers with ” Rahe Na rahe Hum Mehka Karenge” was pick of the lot.Gulzars ” Aandhi” starring Sanjeev Kumar became centre of controversy as the character of Mrs Sen had an uncanny resemblance with the life & style of Indira Gandhi. The story depicted the dilemma of a woman politician who is swinging between her political career and married life.The film received seven nomination winning three. Filmfare Best Actor Award for Sanjeev Kumar,Best Lyrics for Gulzar” ‘Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi’) & Filmfare Award Best Film( Critics) for Gulzar.”Tum Aa Gaye Ho Noor Aa Gaya” rendered by Kishore-Lata was another soulful number.
Suchitra Sen enjoyed the best pairing with co-star Uttam Kumar.They worked in many films,of which they did 13 between 1954 to 1956.” Deep Jwele Jaai” ( To light a Lamp-1959),directed by Asit Sen starring Suchitra Sen,Anil Chatterjee & Vasant Choudhury was one of the best films of the actress.Sen plays a Nurse as part of a team exploring new avenues for patients suffering from emotional trauma. Gulzar later made ” Khamoshi” on the subject. The actress,however, remained unfortunate to work with Bengali stalwarts like- Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen.
There is no denying the fact than the actress enjoyed peerless popularity & enthralled millions of fans worldwide with her acting capabilities, vibrant nature & unblemished beauty.After the death of her husband Sen had withdrawn herself from acting & active life for years.Her mod , luxury-loving daughter Moon Moon Sen later appeared on the film horizon for some years.She later joined TMC & became MP in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Lost to Babul Supriyo of BJP in 2019.
Born this day in 1931 at Pabna now in Bangladesh ,the actress was bestowed with padamshri in 1972. However , she refused to accept Dadasaheb Phalke Award.