Bimal Roy was deeply influenced by the social reforming theme based dramas of IPTA (Indian People’s Theatre Association) pioneered depicting problems of rural poverty and women exploitation. Roy was interested in linking class and gender themes and exploring ideology of womanhood and creating strong, individual female characters in his films. ‘Sujata’ and ‘Bandini’ are two such examples.
Compared to his earlier ‘Do Bigha Zamin’ which addressed social problems in general and wider way, this film is more subjectively addressed film of an untouchable girl who remained a part of Upper cast house and get second hand treatment. She remained a part of family and still unacceptable and excluded as untouchable girl. The film has few other flaws too. For example- the editing of the film fumbles in the absence of his loyal assistant Hrishida who became Director during the production of this film. The film bears routine melodrama of the period and predictable ending. The realistic and thought provoking ending reflected in his ‘Do Bigha Zamin’ was replaced by commercial happy ending in this film. Its too idealistic ending portraying evil of untouchablilty. The films made by Parallel Directors like Benegal and Ghosh reflected it more realistically.
With Roy’s this film Nutan gained the attention as a serious actress. She was quite dusky skin and considerably too tall to cast with usual actors of that era. I’m not big Nutan fan but yes I must say in this film she showed her natural flair of acting. Sunil Dutt also maintained his genuine and thinking man role.
As a commercial film maker Bimal Roy had no option excluding music in his film even though sometimes it didn’t fit into the context and synchronization but I must say most of his films bears classic scores either by Salil Chaudhary or Sachin Dev Burman.
S D Burman’s music is always timeless and he composed some finest songs like “Kali ghata chhaye…”, “Tum jiyo hazaro saal…” And How can we forget Talat Mehmood’s silky rendition of “Jalte hai jiske liye…” Its not usually Burmanda sing in his film composition as playback singer but Bimalda loved Dada’s voice and so Burmanda gave his rare Rabindra sangeet flavored- “Sun mere bandhu re…”