Bhubaneswar: One the most expensive movies of that period, ‘Stree’ was screened at Odissi Research Centre Auditorium here on Saturday.
This Odia classic, which had set many milestones, looked as fresh as dew with its concept and representation even 46 years after it hit the threatres in odisha.
The movie, which revolved around love, trust and dedication, was released in 1968 under the banner of Sarathi Films. The story was by Parbati Ghose under the pen name of ‘Srabani’. This was the second directorial venture of the trio of SIDDHARTH namely Parbati Ghose, Gour Prasad Ghose and Thakur Bhai.
Gour and Parbati scored a hat trick of National Awards with ‘Stree’. The then President of India V V Giri presented the award.
With ‘Stree’, Gour paved the way for future producers to get subsidy on loans through OFDC. He was also instrumental in getting Odia cinema recognized as an Industry.
The premiere of the movie was held in Rourkela and attended by the likes of then CM Rajendra Narayan Singh Deo and Industry Minister Harihar Patel.
The Ghose continued the tradition of introducing new faces and talents with this movie. Jadunath Routray, Shyamalendu Bhattacharya and Sunita debuted in major roles and Guru Raghu Datta as dance director. Dancers like Kukumina, Ratna Ray and Alok Bahidar also made their first screen presence with the movie. Debutant Sujata Anand went on to become a famous Odia actress. Ruma Guha Thakurta, famous Bengali actress/singer, appeared in a guest appearance. Swarup Naik shot to fame with his portrayal of ‘Bijuli’. He penned his first lyrics for a song, which was picturised on his character and made him very popular. Their son Romi had the pivotal role of Nayan, which earned him a nomination for National Award in the Best Child Artiste category.
The production cost of the movie was around Rs 3 lakh, which made it an expensive affair. With Gour and Parbati in the lead role, playing Debabrata and Anuradha respectively, the movie delved into relationship goals.
Anuradha and her brother Prasanna find Debabrata unconscious near the sea beach. She takes him home and tends to him. During this period, the cupid strikes and they fall in love. Anuradha ties the knot with Debabrata, completely unaware of the fact that he was married earlier and fathered a son.
She tries to give all the love and affection to the child. However, trouble brews in the paradise with scheming relatives succeeding in creating a fissure between the couple and soon Debabrata leaves home with his son. After much struggle and suffering, love triumphs at the end.
The audience applauded the on screen chemistry and approach of the most adorable reel-turned-real life couple of Odia film industry.
On the occasion, two books ‘Nari Mu Sarbansaha’ and ‘Scene No-66’, as a tribute to Parbati Ghose and Goura Ghose, were unveiled, besides a booklet on ‘Stree’. Prior to the screening, personalities associated with the revival of the movie were felicitated.
Among others, Culture Secretary Manoranjan Panigrahi, national award winning director Sabyasachi Mohapatra, veteran actor Bijay Mohnaty, Kuna Tripathy, yesteryear actress Tripura Mishra, Anu Choudhury, dramatist Ananta Mohapatra, Pranab Patnaik, Trupti Das and eminent litterateur Ramakanta Rath were present.
Earlier speaking to Odisha Bytes, founder-secretary of Film Journalist Forum (fjf), which organised the event, Surya Deo had informed about the effort put into readying the reel of movie which was in a bad shape. “We have added a few songs which were edited from the films during the release,” he had added.
Writer-lyricist Bijay Malla compeered the programme.
(B/W Pictures Courtesy: Official website of Gour & Parbati Ghose)