Aparna Sen has been a gift to Bengali cinema.
Since her debut, she has been unstoppable as an actress, director and screenwriter. A Padmashri and winner of too many awards to tell, she has been a foremost example of what we can be if we have the courage to follow our dreams.
In this article, we have focused on her earliest films as an actress.
Here are some of her top black and white films that we can watch again and again.
Samapti (Teen Kanya)
Aparna Sen is one of another Satyajit Ray’s invaluable picks. Samapti was her debut film and she was barely sixteen when she sizzled in this role. Samapti was the last of trio Teen Kanya.
Amulya (Soumitra Chatterjee), after his education from Kolkata, is returning to the village when he meets the tomboyish, free spirited and unleashed Mrinmoyee (Aparna Sen). Although the society considers a wild woman unsuitable as a bride, Amulya falls for him. She is unchained and free in mind and body, a rare quality he does not find in others.
However, the best part of the film is Mrinmoyee’s evolution from a girl to a woman, from ego to surrender, from reluctance to love. Aparna Sen has shown her mettle in her first film itself.
Aparna Sen as Mrinmoyee will always rule our hearts.
Aparichito is a Salil Dutta directed film based on the story The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Along with Aparna Sen the film has a hit cast of Uttam Kumar, Soumitra Chatterjee, Utpal Dutt, Sandhya Roy and Haradhan Banerjee. Aparna Sen won the BFJA Best Actress Award for this film.
Aparna Sen paired with Soumitra Chatterjee in this Mrinal Sen classic. Not many films get made so well on lost romances. Aparna is Monica, an attractive girl from an affluent family. Ajay (Soumitra) falls for her but in fear of losing her, fakes his financial and social status. As he keeps on a double life, he keeps falling into a deep pit. Monica is kept in the dark until the inevitable happens.
Another amazing film by the Aparna-Soumitra twosome. Baksha Badal remains as one of the most popular romantic comedies.
Pampered Aparna and psychiatrist Soumitra meet in a train. While an interesting love-hate relationship buds, fate steps in. Their luggage gets switched over and another hilarious journey starts. Sweet boxes go missing, photographs are sketched with moustachios and moustachios get disliked – the short story written by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay turns out to be one of the best film ever made. However, a lot of credit goes to Satyajit Ray for this film for his contribution in music and script.
Starring with Uttam Kumar, Memsaheb is another romantic film we will remember for a long time. Director Pinaki Mukherjee did a great job at combining the political arena and romance of that era.
Aparna Sen sizzles as the young, educated Professor who falls in love with the Uttam Kumar, a journalist. While both support and stand for each other and dream for a happy future, political violence ruin their life.
Another extremely popular romantic comedy starring Aparna and Soumitra. It is boys-versus-girls war time. Aparna Sen seems to be the lead of the girl power pitting against the Soumitra-led boy team. Filled with hilarious scenes and amusing romances, this is a must watch film.
A retelling of the Sound of Music, Jay Jayanti is equally delightful to watch and perhaps the best of Uttam- Aparna.
Sanjoy lives with his five naughty kids, the children of her sister who are now left without parents. Sanjay, who is himself quite impatient and arrogant cannot manage the kids. They need a governess but none can keep up with them. Until Jayanti (Aparna Sen) comes.
Jayanti gives everything that the kids need – love, patience and protection. The naughty kids turn into docile, well behaved children. Jayanti is more than just a governess – she is wise too and earns the respect of Sanjay much to his fiancée, Mala’s dislike. She falsely plots against her then plans to send the kids to hostel. After Jayanti leaves, Sanjay realizes that how much he misses her.