Contrary to the middle-of-the-road films which pleased critics and the audience alike in the last few years, producers depended on run-of-the-mill films and masala potboilers to set the cash registers ringing in 2013. (Agencies)
Content-based cinema was pushed to the back foot at the box office as Rituparno Ghosh, credited for ushering in a new wave in Bengali cinema by his trailblazing films like 'Unishe April', 'Dahan', and 'Choker Bali', passed away after a cardiac arrest on May 30.
Leading a whole generation of Bengali filmmakers, Ghosh had spearheaded the revival of the industry with his sensitive works which drew national and even international attention.
There was not much in store for the Bengali film industry for the rest of the year but they did end with successful films.
Released aptly just before the Christmas holidays, the big-budgeted 'Chander Pahar' (Mountain of the Moon) made waves at the box office riding on the popularity of superstar Dev. Shot extensively in South Africa, the film managed to bring back Bengali film audiences to theatres.
'Aschorjo Prodip' (Astonishing Lamp), a contemporary Aladdin story about a struggling man whose unfulfilled aspirations are met when he meets a modern genie, became one of the biggest hits of the year.
Starring Saswata Chatterjee, the famous silent assassin 'Bob Biswas' of 'Kahaani', the fantasy film was directed by Anik Dutta and was based on a short story by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay.
The unique plot of a Hieroglyphic trail that leads to Egypt's pyramid in the adventure film 'Mishawr Rohoshyo' (Mystery of Egypt) was loved by children and elders alike. Directed by Srijit Mukherji, the film starred screen idol Prosenjit Chatterjee.
Based on one of the stories of Bengali novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay in the Kakababu-Santu series, the film's story revolved around a few pieces of paper containing a secret message written in hieroglyphics by an Egyptian preacher.
Another hit was the Jeet-starrer 'Boss', panned by critics but loved by audiences for its Bollywood-style action sequences.
Filmmaker Kaushik Ganguly won the Best Director's Award at the 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) for 'Apur Panchali', which was about the child actor from Satyajit Ray's 'Pather Panchali'.
Kaushik, who goes by the moniker Q, got critical acclaim at film festivals for his 'Tasher Desh' (The land of Crads), based on Tagore's work by the same name.
Ganguly's 'Shabdo' (Sound) was a welcome addition to the small list of content-based films produced during the year. The film revolved around the life of a foley artist of Bengali film who gets trapped in the world of sounds.
The film also won the 60th National Film Awards for Best Feature Film in Bengali.
Despite good reviews, ace director Aparna Sen's horror comedy 'Goynar Baksho' (The Jewellery Box) starring her daughter Konkona could hardly make a mark at the box office.
Tollywood traced its glorious past with Kamaleswar Mukherjee's 'Meghe Dhaka Tara' which was inspired from the life and works of iconic Bengali film director Ritwik Ghatak.
Shot in black and white, the film was also screened at the Berlin International Film Festival and won the Centenary Award 2013 at IFFI.
Suman Mukhopadhyay's political film 'Kangal Malsat' (War Cry of beggars) created controversy as the regional body of the Central Board of Film Certification refused to clear the film citing unnecessary use of abusive language, sexuality, a casual approach to portraying social movements that may hurt sentiments and a distortion of history.
It was, however, cleared later on by the tribunal after certain scenes were deleted.
Contrary to the middle-of-the-road films which pleased critics and the audience alike in the last few years, producers depended on run-of-the-mill films and masala potboilers to set the cash registers ringing in 2013.