An Indian writer, poet and journalist, whose works influenced even a young Rabindranath Tagore, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay was born on 13th Ashard, 1245, as per the Bengali calendar.
Considered to be a key figure in the literary renaissance of Bengal, some of his works were a breakaway from the traditional verse-oriented Indian writings prevalent during his times, and proved to be an inspiration for authors across India.
A teller of great tales, the years have seen a number of his works being taken from tomes to be adapted for the big screen. Here are a few one must watch to understand the essence of the great writer.
Kapalkundala: Chattopadhyay's 1866 novel was turned into a film in 1933 by Premankur Atorthy for New Theatres Ltd. Calcutta. However, this was not the first adaptation. It was first adapted for the big screen by Priyanath Ganguly in 1929 and was subsequently remade in 1939, 1952 and 1980. The film is about a girl Kapalkundala who is brought up in a forest by the sage Kapalik where she meets a young man, Nabakumar who had lost his way in the forest. They two elope and marry and she relocates to the city but finds herself unable to adapt to city life. The film ends with her killing herself.
Durgesh Nandini: Durgeshnondini, the first Bengali romance and the first ever novel in Bengali that was published in 1865, was made into a Hindi film in 1956. In Bengali, it was first released in 1927 and then in 1951 where actors like Chhabi Biswas and Manoranjan Bhattacharya starred in it.
Anandamath: The 1882 novel was made into a Bengali film in 1951 by Satish Dasgupta and then into a Hindi film in 1952 by Hemen Gupta called Anand Math. The novel and film are set in the events of the Sannyasi Rebellion, which took place in the late 18th century in Bengal.
Krishnakanter Will: A tale of greed and vice, the 1878 novel was adapted for celluloid first in 1932, starring Ahindra Choudhary and Santi Gupta and later in 2007 starring Soumitra Chatterjee.
Devi Chaudhurani: At a time when most women were pushed to be always behind a purdah, the 1884 novel saw the struggle against the British being led by a woman. Suchitra Sen brought this character to life in the 1974 film by Dinen Gupta.