For the unbelievable Bengali auteur Mrinal Sen, film regularly went connected at the hip with agitprop, which means the utilization of political informing as a tasteful component. This, alongside the continuous utilization of mid-film interruption, is one of the numerous methods Sen acquires from Brechtian theater hypothesis. A self-broadcasted “private” Marxist, Sen was straightforward about his utilization of film to grow the communist social undertaking and to achieve change. In this way, it is nothing unexpected that his film additionally had a ton to state about the battle for sex fairness in Bengal.
The milieu wherein Mrinal Sen was making films was one of progress. Much like the Neu Frau (New Woman) in interwar Germany, Bengali society requested a reimagination of the urban lady. It was when Kolkata, in the same way as other post-provincial urban communities in the locale, was grasping the possibility of an autonomous lady outside of their local worth. The movies of that time, including well known film, saw a takeoff from the cliché characters of mother, spouse, sister, little girl and darling.
Notwithstanding, reconsidering the urban lady through well known film had its confinements. Sentimental melodramas of the popular Uttam-Suchitra on-screen pairings, for instance, reproduced the urban lady inside man controlled society, not outside of it. These movies would adopt up a reformist strategy to abuse and spotlight on how ladies’ adoration and care have the ability to mend male controlled society and society on the loose.
Mamata Shankar as Chinu in Ek Din Pratidin
Sen’s movies were consistently impervious to the business film, and he is known to have infrequently devoured any of it. His portrayal of ladies in his movies was likewise contradictory to these tropes of the “reformist darling” in mainstream film.
Sen was worried about the urban working class and their complicities in staying aware of the state of affairs, which is comprehensive of male centric society. Be it the neo-pragmatist shows or the trial highlights, Sen used each chance to make a powerful critique on the detachment and twofold guidelines of white collar class ethical quality.
In a few of Sen’s movies, the tension towards the undeniably autonomous, and to some degree explicitly positive, urbane Bengali lady is frequently pivotal to the diegesis. With regards to the different political uprisings of the 60s and 70s, ladies’ freedom inside these developments was still underestimated.
This is clear in Sen’s 1973 film Padatik (The Guerilla Fighter), where the urban lady is spoken to by Mrs. Shila Mitra (Simi Garewal). Padatik bases on a Naxalite political dissident, Sumit (Dhriitiman Chatterjee), who takes shelter in the affluent Mrs. Mitra’s loft in an upscale neighborhood. While showing up at this area just because, Sumit, nearly copying the crowd’s suspicion, asks, “She lives alone? Why there is no Mr. Mitra?”
Mrs. Mitra is an effective publicizing official who lives in a luxurious loft in an upscale neighborhood. However, her single status makes individuals uncomfortable. Regardless of her financial benefit, sexual orientation jobs don’t get away from her.
This is best comprehended by taking a gander at how she partakes in the political development inside the film. Despite the fact that she is a lady with office, a thinking being about her own, her cooperation in the upset is restricted to tamed administrations: giving consideration, asylum, and friendship for the male activist.
The accompanying selection bolsters this case. Previous Naxalite Krishna Bandhopadhay wrote in her article named “Naxalbari: A Feminist Perspective” in the Economic and Political Weekly:
“We were approached to offer safe house to progressives, give them tea, and convey letters and archives starting with one spot then onto the next. What’s more, we had one greater duty. This was to experience preparing as medical attendants, with the goal that we could keep an eye on our harmed male friends and medical attendant them back to wellbeing. On account of our consideration, the gathering could recapture its companions in light of the fact that the police would not normally presume a lady. We started to feel unimportant.”
Mrinal Sen over and again puts forth a defense in Padatik that the gendered categorisation of Simi Garewal’s character has been disguised by the very individuals battling for social change. He does as such by differentiating scenes of Mrs. Mitra’s trained help with that of Sumit’s internal monolog containing solid political idea and investigations.
The two days that Sumit lived alone, he was totally fine to fight for himself, however since the time the mortgage holder restored, the brunt of the kitchen work was not, at this point shared by Sumit. A depleted Mrs. Mitra comes back from office to welcome Sumit sluggishly perusing Maoist writing – yet she is the person who offers, “Do you need some tea?”
Here, Mrs. Mitra appears as the virgin Madonna – Jesus’ mom in Christian religious philosophy. Mrs. Mitra’s job as a consideration giving benefactor typifies the protective, virtuous champion that has been pigeonholed in conventional Bengali, and Indian, writing and film. Her decency originates from the way that she is honest, which makes her a confided in comrade of the development.
This thought ladies’ significance relates to the job of a parental figure is repeated in the scene where Sumit and Mrs. Mitra are visiting at the morning meal table after Mrs. Mitra had been out late for an office party the prior night. With a serious gaze, Mrs. Mitra murmurs that Sumit missed the previous evening’s supper – conceivably on the grounds that she was missing to set it up for him.
The executive doesn’t finish up this discussion yet leaves it with Sumit vacantly gazing back at Mrs. Mitra. The crowd isn’t aware of Sumit’s interior musings and feelings yet the waiting freeze-casing of Sumit’s aloof, honorable gaze proposes a snapshot of reflection for the crowd.
It is safe to say that he is furious that she didn’t plan supper? Or on the other hand did she get ready supper, however Sumit would not like to eat without her? It is safe to say that he is getting genuinely connected to his benefactor?
In the visual language in Padatik, if love existed, it would do so just in the suppositions one makes – in the vacant looks shared among Sumit and Mrs. Mitra, the traces of inebriated evenings, and calm trade of individual catastrophes.
In the event that there were ever an association, it would be dependent upon the crowd to expect that the looks were sentimental, and the intoxicated night prompted sentiment, or the overflow of one’s feeling implied anything over a profound association with a dear companion.
It is up to us, the crowd, to choose. Do we blame these two characters for being anything over flat mates? For what reason should the connection among Sumit and Mrs. Mitra be anything over what meets the eye?
At the essence of the film, as Sumit fights his own political compass and starts scrutinizing his gathering’s authority, different individuals start to estrange him.
They blame him for lacking uprightness. Some portion of this allegation is that he is engaging in extramarital relations with the benefactor Mrs. Mitra. Here, the film positions Mrs. Mitra as a “prostitute” – not in the exacting sense however more in the psychoanalytical sense.
The prostitute, as well, alludes to the scriptural comprehension of Mary Magdalene, a supposed whore, who was viewed as unholy. With regards to film, the Madonna and “prostitute” speak to the polarity among consecrated and mainstream under the male look.
While the modest Madonna is viewed as righteous, the sexual “prostitute” is viewed as a lady of transgressive positionality under male controlled society.
The Madonna-prostitute complex in well known film can be usually found in the movies of Martin Scorsese and Alfred Hitchcock, among others. Cabbie and Vertigo separately investigate clashes between apparent virtue and the libidinal wants towards ladies.
What is one of a kind about Sen’s treatment of the Madonna-prostitute complex is that he moves toward it as a duality rather than a double. Opposing to situate the two powers against one another, he restrains both the Madonna and the prostitute in the particular character of Mrs. Mitra.
This exposes the argumentative demonstration of making a Bengali Neu Frau (New Woman) – liberated from man’s ward yet constrained by man’s longing.
While Mrs. Mitra has cut herself a personality, she is as yet not liberated from prostitute disgracing, tattle, and character death. This is articulated in the scene with the late-night call where Mrs. Mitra’s ex bugs her and attempts to extort her for cash. Mrs.
Mitra opposes the maltreatment, and the discussion finishes in a yelling match, while Sumit catches this from his room. The ex’s provocation helps us to remember the dangers of sexual orientation based maltreatment that ladies are frequently confronted with when they begin to achieve more than their accomplices.
Notwithstanding, we should take note of that Sen’s portrayal of the minimization experienced by a middle class lady is not the slightest bit a supplication for compassion towards the favored class. It’s a remarkable inverse.
This film requests that we consider how monetary benefit inside entrepreneur social orders neglects to accomplish a total women’s activist ideal world. This position is clarified in the portion in the film where Simi Garewal’s character meets a few ladies about their perspectives on woman’s rights and sexual orientation fairness.
The vast majority of the respondents are center to high society, freed ladies. Notwithstanding, in their tributes, there’s consistent understanding that sexual orientation uniformity has not been acknowledged in full limit inside the urban Bengali society.
“We are doing everything that a man can do, yet even still, complete opportunity isn’t here on the grounds that when we procure or travel, we are as yet doing as such with the assent of men,” shares one of the ladies met by Mrs. Mitra.
The first handout of Ek Din Pratidin
In the previously mentioned grouping, one of the respondents refers to Henrik Ibsen’s play, Dollhouse, where we see one of the early rises of the Neu Frau (New Woman) in writing. Ibsen’s material was frequently a wellspring of motivation for Sen, who operation