mommy issues

On the topic of the “feminine persona” and new type of woman played by Suchitra Sen in her hits with Uttam Kumar in the mid- and late 1950s and early 1960s:

In the most emblematic films of the genre, the Suchitra Sen figure emerges as a controlling presence—almost a surrogate mother figure to the male protagonist, displaying an uninhibited openness in initiating the romantic process and an enormous resilience towards sustaining romantic love.
—Sharmistha Gooptu, Bengali Cinema: An Other Nation (New Delhi: Lotus Collection, Roli Books, 2010)  p. 168

Dress it up in whatever academic lingo you want (and I want a lot), the cinematic idealization of issues that border on the Oedipal continues to make me uncomfortable. Though to be honest, I have not noticed the hero’s love of his mother being anywhere near as creepy in Bengali movies as I have in Hindi movies.


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