7 Must Watch Films Adapted from Rabindranath Tagore’s Work

Rabindranath Tagore, arguably the most revered literary figure in India reshaped Bengali Literature with his profound writing, poems and art. He could envisage the emergence of future technology and its dynamics. Even at the infancy of cinema, at the second decade of the last century, he could realize that this form of art will take centre stage. The poet correctly prophesied that the very form, which is a blend of all other forms of art namely literature, music, art and theatre juxtaposed under the auspicious of modern technology, might be the youngest in the pantheon but one day it will rule over all other forms.

The stalwart, who not only touched every nook and corner of the Bangla literature but also enriched the global literature as well, also inspired the filmmakers of many languages over the last eight decades or so.

Satyajit Roy, the most acclaimed filmmaker of Bangla film not only made a documentary on the life of the great man but also made several films based on his creation.

Lekin (1991)

A must watch Gulzar film.

Director: Gulzar

Cast: Vinod Khanna, Dimple Kapadia &HemaMalini

The famous lyricist Gulzar wrote the screenplay based on Kshudhit Pashaan. The film was produced by legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar and won 5 Indian National film Awards.

Oka ChinnaMaata (1997) 

Naukadubi fares to South.

Director: Muthyala Subbaiah

Cast: Jagapati Babu, Indraja

ATelegu romantic film based on Rabindranath Tagore’s novel ‘Naukadubi‘.

Chokher Bali (2003)

Rabindranath meets exoticity through the masterclass Rituparno.

Director: Rituparno Ghosh

Aishwarya Rai, Prasenjit Chatterjee, Raima Sen, Tota Roy Chowdhury

Even the mainstream commercial film star of Bollywood, Aishwarya Rai was inspired by Tagore. Veteran Subhash Ghai of Bombay tinsel town joined acclaimed award winning director-storyteller Rituparno Ghosh in his first bilingual venture.

Charulata (1964)

Satyajit shows a woman in making and her disasters too.

Director: Satyajit Ray

Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee, Shailen Mukherjee

Satyajit is perhaps the only person who perfectly bore the tradition of Tagore.

Ghare Baire (1984)

A movement and a woman torn between dilemmas.

Director: Satyajit Ray

Casts: Swatilekha Chatterjee (Sengupta), Victor Banerjee, Jennifer Kendal, Soumitra Chatterjee

Another Bengali classic depicting the political confusion and turmoil of Swadeshi era.

Chaturanga (2008)

A poetic journey within Tagore’s text.

Director: Suman Mukhopadhyay

Cast: Dhritiman Chatterjee, Rituparna Sengupta, Joy Sengupta

A recent Bangla film, made by a director, who generates the aura of third cinema and political cult, was even inspired by the bard.

Kabuliwala (1961)

A must watch Bimol Ray Production

Director: Hemen Gupta

Cast: Balraj Sahni, Usha Kiran, Sajjan, Sonu and Baby Farida

A Hindi film based on Rabindranath Tagore’s story ‘Kabuliwala’. The story talks about the relationship between Mini and Kabuliwala Abdur Rahamat Khan who sees in the little girl his own daughter left behind in Kabul.

Syed Faiz Ahmed

Syed Faiz Ahmed, is a National level bridge player who works for an english national daily as sub-editor. Translate and interpret from Bangla, English, French, German and vice versa.