• Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Arts and Culture

The top 10 Nutan movies



THIS week marks the death anniversary of late great Indian film star Nutan, who passed away aged 54 on February 21 after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Hailing from a famous film family, she left a permanent mark on the cinematic landscape with her timeless talent and is regarded as one of the finest actresses in Bollywood history.

Eastern Eye decided to remember Nutan with a watchlist of her top 10 films.

Seema (1955): The actress started her cinematic journey as a teenager and finally came to prominence with this critically acclaimed drama and won her first Filmfare Best Actress award. An early best series watch Bollywood film loaded with girl power, she plays a young woman who is constantly beaten down by society and won’t give up. That determined performance connected strongly with women and empowered many.

Anari (1959): After a misfire with his debut as a director, legendary filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee first came to prominence with this sleeper superhit, which was the highest grossing of that year. Nutan once again plays a smart woman, opposite Raj Kapoor, in the story of an ordinary man trying to make his way in the world and finding love in the most unexpected place. The film would win multiple awards, including the prestigious National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.

Sujata (1959): Nutan starred in some great classics with leading man Sunil Dutt, and this was their first big success together. The Bimal Roy directed drama based on a Bengali short story of the same name received rave reviews upon release and competed at the Cannes Film Festival. The story of a romance between a Brahmin man and an ‘untouchable’ woman from a lower caste tackled a taboo subject head on. It would win multiple awards, including a Filmfare Best Movie and Best Actress for Nutan.

Chhalia (1960): Although he is best remembered for blockbuster Amitabh Bachchan starrers like Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Suhaag (1979) and Naseeb (1981), legendary director Manmohan Desai first came to prominence with this early effort. Nutan once again teamed up with Raj Kapoor in this film based on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 1848 story White Nights. The post Partition drama saw her perfectly play a woman who is battling the odds once again.

Bandini (1963): The actress teamed up with legendary director Bimal Roy again for what is regarded as her greatest film and one of the best in Bollywood history. She portrays one of the most memorable female protagonists in Hindi cinema, in the story of a woman who is jailed for murder and the unexpected bond she forms. The landmark movie based on a Bengali novel would win multiple awards, including a Filmfare and National Best Film honour. Not surprisingly, Nutan won another Filmfare Best Actress award.

Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963): Although Nutan specialised in heavier dramas, the actress is brilliant in this comedy with a social message, which was a major success when it released. She stars opposite Dev Anand in the story of star-crossed lovers, who must convince their parents to put aside their differences. The light-hearted entertainer with memorable music also had an important social message.

Khandan (1965): The movie best remembered for the legendary song Tum Hi Meri Mandir is a deeply emotional family drama that saw Nutan star opposite Sunil Dutt. The remake of 1959 Tamil film Bhagapirivinai emphasised the importance of family, but also relationships and unconditional love. It would win multiple awards, including a Filmfare Best Actor trophy for Dutt.

Milan (1967): One of the greatest reincarnation movies ever made in Bollywood was a huge success when it released and had a blockbuster soundtrack that included the song Sawan Ka Mahina. Sunil Dutt and Nutan play a honeymooning couple who discover they were bonded in a past life. Through flashback we learn how despite being from dramatically different backgrounds they form a bond, which leads towards tragedy. Nutan would win yet another Filmfare Best Actress award for her stunning performance.

Saudagar (1973): By the time this film released, the actress had dramatically slowed down from acting commitments to start a family. The often under-rated classic didn’t do the commercial business of her biggest hits, but it was selected as India’s official entry for the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film category but not nominated. She received a Filmfare Best Actress nomination for her role of a widow who is deceived.

Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1979): The in-demand star was persuaded to come out of retirement in later years to play memorable mother roles in films, including Meri Jung (1986), for which she won a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress award. Her finest turn was in this emotional drama of a widowed woman bringing up her own child and the illegitimate son of her late husband. She would win a record-breaking fifth Filmfare Best Actress award for her performance.

Eastern Eye

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