Most of the Indians haven’t seen many Bengali movies because of the less popularity of the Bengali cinema. But, before you jump to any conclusion, let’s tell you about the rich history of Bengali cinema. The history of cinema in Bengal dates back to the 1890’s and during that time generally bioscopes were put to display in theatres in Calcutta. You might have heard the name of one of the famous filmmakers of the 20th century, Satyajit Ray. The legendary filmmaker has directed some of the best Bengali movies of all time.
All the best Bengali movies are known for their intense storylines, serious characters and hard-hitting dialogues. Although there are countless Bangla movies that are so good that they can’t be missed but we have tried our best to make a list of top 10 best Bengali movies of all time. Let’s check out the best work of the Bangla cinema.
1. Pather Panchali (1955)
Pather Panchali is an Indian Bengali drama movie directed by none other than Satyajit Ray. Who can believe that this masterpiece of art is Ray’s directional debut? It is the first movie in the famous Apu trilogy and it depicts the childhood of Apu and his elder sister and their life in a village. It was the first movie from independent India that gained huge international critical attention and won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in 1955 along with a couple of international awards.
2. Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne Series (1969)
Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne is an Indian Bengali fantasy adventure comedy movie directed by Satyajit Ray. The Bangla movie tells the story of a Goopy Gyne who wants to be a famous singer but unfortunately, can’t sing. This movie is every Bengali’s favourite childhood memory as it is a fantasy adventure movie. The movie won Best Feature Film and Best Direction awards at the 16th National Film Awards. It was the longest continuously running Bengali movie in Bengal, as it ran for straight 51 weeks in the theatres.
3. Apur Sansar (1959)
Yet another masterpiece written, directed and produced by Satyajit Ray. The World of Apu is an Indian Bengali drama movie and is the third part of The Apu Trilogy. It is often regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time. The World of Apu won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film and gained huge critical acclaim internationally. It is one of the best Bengali movies directed by Satyajit Ray.
4. The Clay Bird (2002)
The Clay Bird is an Indian Bengali drama movie directed by Tareque Masud, a Bangladeshi film director. The movie deals with the director’s own experience amid the Bangladesh War of Liberation. It was the first Bangladeshi movie to be selected for the Cannes Film Festival. Although the movie was initially banned in Bangladesh due to the religious sentiments of people but later on, the ban was repealed from the movie in 2005.
5. Heerak Rajar Deshe (1980)
Hirak Rajar Deshe is the sequel to the Bengali fantasy adventure movie Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne and it is directed by Satyajit Ray. One interesting fact about the movie is that all its songs were composed and written by Ray himself. The soundtrack won 3 National awards and it is one of the best musical feature films of all time.
6. Aranyer Din Ratri (1970)
Aranyer Din Ratri is an Indian Bengali adventure drama movie directed by Satyajit Ray and is based on the Bengali novel of the same name. No wonder, Satyajit is considered as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time as he has directed most of the top 10 best Bengali movies. This movie was so good that it was nominated for the Golden Bear for Best Film at the 20th Berlin International Film Festival.
7. Teen Kanya (1961)
Teen Kanya is an Indian Bengali anthology movie directed by Satyajit Ray and it is based on the short stories by Rabindranath Tagore. The movie won the National Film Award for the Best Feature Film in Bengali in 1961. The international version of the movie was preserved by the Academy Film Archive in 1996.
8. Nayak (1966)
Nayak is an Indian Bengali drama movie written and directed by Satyajit Ray. The story revolved around an artist who goes on a 24hour train journey from Kolkata to Delhi to receive a National award and tells his life story to a journalist. The movie won the National Film Award for the Best Feature Film in Bengali in 1967. Nayak movie was also preserved by the Academy Film Archive in 2004.
9. Bhooter Bhabishyat (2012)
Bhooter Bhabishyat is an Indian Bengali movie directed by Anik Dutta. It is the latest and one of the best Bengali movies of all time. The movie was so good that it was remade in Bollywood as Gang of Ghosts. The movie was described as “one of the most intelligent and satiric comedies one has seen in a long time”.
10. The Japanese Wife (2010)
The last movie among the top 10 bets Bengali movies is The Japanese Wife. It is an Indian Japan joint venture Romantic movie starring none other than Rahul Bose and Raima Sen in the lead roles. The plot revolves around a young Bengali teacher who married his Japanese pen friend over letters and how he remain loyal to her throughout his life without actually meeting her. The movie won a couple of international awards and it is one of the must see Bangla movies of all time.
We think all of you have noticed that seven out of the top 10 best Bengali movies above are directed by the legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray and we think that’s why he is considered as a legend in Bengali Cinema. Do let us know if you think any other Bangla movie deserves a spot in this list.