06 December, 2020

Terms Of Endearment

Elusive till the end, for Suchitra Sen it was tactical retreat too

Terms Of Endearment

Bengalis may well be irrepressible hero-worshippers, but there is reason in their calling Suchitra Sen ‘Bengal’s Garbo’. Like Garbo did to MGM, Sen gave her provincial film industry a ‘star’ who guaranteed security of investment for two decades, the ’50s and the ’60s. And, much like Garbo, Suchitra Sen was reclusive. At least Greta Garbo did appear in public, twenty years after hanging up her boots with Two-Faced Woman, when she accepted the invitation of the Kennedys to the White House and spent a night in Washington DC. But nobody in Calcutta remembers seeing Suchitra after her legendary co-star Uttam Kumar’s death in 1980. Garbo refused interviews and award ceremonies. So did Suchitra; she even turned down the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2005 as it required her to be present at the ceremony. Like Garbo’s biographies, all of which are a yarn spun from outside a heavy door firmly shut on its face, Suchitrar Katha, a purported biography of the Bengali screen idol, is some chitchat strung together to make a book...



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