Kamu Mukherjee – beyond his amusing exterior lay an actor extraordinaire. There are some actors who have a supporting role in a film but leave a deeper impression than the lead roles. He was one of those.
Very less is known about this wonderful actor. Kamu Mukherjee was born on June 14 1931. Probably his first film was Sonar Harin in 1959 along with Uttam Kumar, Chhabi Biswas, Tarun Kumar, Kali Banerjee and Bhanu Bandopadhyay. It is said that once Kamu Mukherjee himself approached Satyajit Ray expressing his desire to act in his films. That brought Ray’s attention on him and later, the master cultivated his talent. Kamu Mukherjee – just like a uncut diamond turning into the a scintillating gem – proved his true caliber again and again.
A brilliant yet humble actor, he would fit with ease into any character role no matter big or small. This shows his true love for the art of acting.
Here are five roles of Kamu Mukherjee that we will love to watch again and again.
Mandar Bose in Sonar Kella
Who does not remember Feluda’s Sonar Kella and the badass villain Mandar Bose. Bhuparjatak Mandar Bose almost spilled the beans by placing wolves in Africa. This fake globetrotter stole Lalmohan Babu’s prized kukri knife. He kidnaps innocent kids, pushes Dr. Hajra to his death and also tries to kill Feluda. Bhabananda’s chela is a dustu lok (bad guy) in the truest sense.
This film perfectly shows what a high-class actor Kamu Mukherjee was.
Harun-Al -Rashid in Phatik Chand
Phatik chand is one of the best children’s movie ever made, globally. Written by Satyajit Ray and directed by his son Sandip Ray, it was Kamu Mukherjee who stole the show.
Kamu Mukherjee’s role as Harun, the juggler who cares and protects for the kidnapped and hurt boy, Phatik Chand aka Bablu wins over our hearts. A simple juggler’s self-respect and unconditional love becomes the climax of the film. If you haven’t already watched this film, do so.
Pritish Sarkar in Nayak
One of most complex characters of this film was Pritish Sarkar. He would think twice of using his wife but would object to let her wife act in films. A supporting role in the legendary Nayak, he depicted the many layers of the society. A short yet a hard hitting character.
Kamu Mukherjee’s brief role as a creepy goon is another role to remember. He scares and ill treats the kids. Hate him or love him, you cannot ignore him!
Arjun in Joy Baba Felunath
Remember Arjun, the old dagger thrower at the house of Maganlal Meghraj? Poor Lalmohan Babu had to stand as the object for his dangerous show. This is one of his most well remembered roles.
Interestingly apart from coughs and grunts, barely any words were spoken by this character but we felt the impact of the old dagger thrower fully. People who act know that an act that uses non-verbal and body language requires much more effort than speaking.
Kamu Mukherjee will be loved forever for his humility, amazing voice, amusing visage and his flair as a magnificent actor. His place in Bengali cinema cannot be replaced by anyone.