The time is immediately before World War II. The place a remote village in Bengal. Priyanath, a middle aged man and the last offspring of a once wealthy family, gets married to a lovely teenage girl to please his widowed mother. Overcoming the initial inhibitions, he starts enjoying the happiness of a normal married life. Read More »
Tag Archives: Bengali
Nita (Supriya Choudhury), breaks a sandal while passing through the market square, and without complaining, continues barefoot on the graveled street, unable to buy a replacement pair of sandals for the walk home. Patently aware that Nita has received her monthly salary, her talented, but indolent older brother Shankar (Anil Chatterjee) pays an unexpected visit, and encountering Nita absorbed in reading a personal letter from a suitor named Sanat (Niranjan Ray), playfully snatches the note and reads aloud its affectionate contents, before asking her for spending money. Read More »
The bread-winning daughter in a middle-class family fails to return from work one evening. The night begins with worries at home, followed by midnight searches and finally a deepening crisis arising out of economic and moral constraints prevalent in the society. Yet the film speaks of hope, of strength hidden behind despair. Read More »
A film crew comes to a village to make a film about a famine, which killed five million Bengalees in 1943.
National Award 1981 – Golden Lotus (Best Film)
Berlin Film Festival 1981 – Silver Bear. Read More »
A political activist escapes the prison van and is sheltered in a posh apartment owned by a sensitive young woman. Both are rebels: the activist against political treachery and the other on social level. Both are bitter about badly organized state of things. Being in solitary confinement, the fugitive engages himself in self-criticism and, in the process, questions the leadership. Questions are not allowed, obeying that is mandatory. Displeasure leads to bitterness, bitterness to total rift. The struggle has to continue, both for the political activist, now segregated, and the woman in exile. Read More »
Parash Pathar was Satyajit Ray’s immediate follow-up to his celebrated Aparajito. The film bears the heavy (but never oppressive) influence of Ray’s idol, French filmmaker Jean Renoir. Tulsi Chakravetry plays Parresh Dutt, an elderly clerk who comes into possession of a stone that can turn the humblest mineral into gold. Attaining vast wealth overnight, Dutt finds that he is still persona non grata in High Society. Taking revenge on his “betters,” he uses his wonderful stone to destroy the economy. Realizing the damage that he’s done, the clerk sacrifices himself to set things right again. When first shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1958, Parash Pathar was greeted with amused indifference; critics and viewers alike preferred the profundity of Ray’s “Apu” trilogy to this modest little fable. Music by Ravi Shankar. Read More »
One of Satyajit Ray’s greatest early films, full of sensuality and ironic undertones, Devi is sufficiently critical of Hindu superstition that it was banned from foreign distribution until Nehru interceded. The plot concerns a wealthy and devout landowner in the 19th century who believes his daughter-in-law (Sharmila Tagore) is the reincarnation of the goddess Kali and convinces her that he’s right. With Soumitra Chatterji and Chhabi Biswas.
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader Read More »