Komal Gandhar

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Komal Gandhar
(A Soft Note on a Sharp Scale)
Komal Gandhar DVD cover
A poster for Komal Gandhar.
Directed byRitwik Ghatak
Produced byRitwik Ghatak
Screenplay byRitwik Ghatak
Music byJyotirindra Moitra
Lyrics: Rabindranath Tagore
CinematographyDilip Ranjan Mukhopadhyay
Edited byRamesh Joshi
Release date
31 March 1961

Komal Gandhar (Bengali: কোমল গান্ধার Kōmal Gāndhār),[1] also known as A Soft Note on a Sharp Scale, is a 1961 Bengali film[2] written and directed by noted film maker Ritwik Ghatak.[3][4][5] The title refers to the Hindustani equivalent of "E-flat". It was part of the trilogy, Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960), Komal Gandhar, and Subarnarekha (1962), all dealing with the aftermath of the Partition of India in 1947 and the refugees coping with it, though this was the most optimistic film of his oeuvre.[6] The film explores three themes juxtaposed in the narrative: the dilemma of Anusuya, the lead character, the divided leadership of IPTA, and the fallout from the partition of India.[7]


The title was taken from the line of a poem[a] by Rabindranath Tagore that meant a sur or note, E-flat. As in other films by Ghatak, music plays a pivotal role in the movie.

Through the microcosmic perspectivising of a group of devoted and uncompromising IPTA workers, Ghatak with his signature style touches on varied issues of partition, idealism, corruption, the interdependence of art and life, the scope of art, and class-struggle. Unlike his other films, this one runs along an upbeat mood with the lead pair of lovers (Vrigu and Anusua) being reunited.



Music was by Jyotirindra Moitra, from IPTA, and a noted Rabindra Sangeet exponent who had previously given music in Ghatak's Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960), and had song by singers like, Bijon Bhattacharya, Debabrata Biswas, Hemanga Biswas. Bahadur Khan played sarod in the soundtrack. The film is noted for its wedding songs and also contrapuntal use of sound.[8]

Screening of Komal Gandhar aka E-Flat in different festivals[edit]

  • 2017: Ritwik Ghatak Retrospective UK, at Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, Scotland, UK, Programme curated by Sanghita Sen, Department of Film Studies, St Andrews University, UK [1]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Manju Jain (1 August 2009). Narratives Of Indian Cinema. Primus Books. pp. 81–. ISBN 978-81-908918-4-4. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  2. ^ Robert Burgoyne (1 August 2009). The Epic Film. Taylor & Francis. pp. 394–. ISBN 978-0-415-99017-2. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  3. ^ "E-Flat (1961)". New York Times. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Jinxed legacy". Hinduonnet.com. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  5. ^ "Of Time And The River…". www.outlookindia.com. 21 July 2006. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  6. ^ Rosalind Galt; Karl Schoonover (2010). Global Art Cinema: New Theories and Histories. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-538562-4.
  7. ^ Haimanti Banerjee (1985). Ritwik Kumar Ghatak: a monograph. National Film Archive of India. pp. 62–3. ISBN 81-201-0001-8.
  8. ^ Indian horizons, Volume 44. Indian Council for Cultural Relations., 1995. p. 127.


  1. ^ Book: Punascha, poem: Komal–Gandhar; Bengali: নাম রেখেছি কোমল গান্ধার, মনে মনে।

External links[edit]