Four friends from Calcutta who have very different personalities make a holiday excursion into the country, to a tiny village in the state of Bihar where they set themselves up in a bungalow. A series of minor events, all connected to their respective reactions to their new environment, reveals their characters more deeply. Displaced from their customary sense of social rules, they engage Lakha as a servant until the day when Hari, having lost his wallet, accuses him of stealing it, strikes him, and sends him away. They meet a beautiful local woman, Duli. When Hari uses her for some fast sex, Lakha ambushes him in revenge. The others become very friendly with two young women from the neighborhood who live on a comfortable estate. The inhibited Sanjoy does not dare to respond to Jaya’s interest while Aparna leaves Asim after giving him her address on a five-rupee note. The friends depart again for the city, pretending to be unaffected by their experiences.
Referred to as “Ray’s Mozartian masterpiece” for its emotional complexity and delicate balancing of responses, this film proves, definitively, Ray’s affinity with Mozart. –Satyajit Ray Film and Study Center
Satyajit Ray is one of cinema’s truest Renaissance men. In addition to his films, he is a reputed writer of short stories, a music composer (scores for his own films and other film-makers, notably Merchant-Ivory’s Shakespeare Wallah) and a painter and graphic designer of considerable skill. Appropriately enough, Ray derived from a background of great culture, the son of poet Sukumar Ray who died when he was three years old. His interest in fine arts, literature and painting led him to reside at Rabindranath Tagore’s Santiniketan (an intellectual retreat for artists and thinkers) for a significant period of time. Ray’s true love however was the cinema. The cinema of 30s Hollywood, which included Fred Astaire musicals and comedies by Ernst Lubitsch; Russian films he devoured in repeated viewings at the Calcutta Film Society (which he co-founded in 1947) and later the Italian neorealist films which he discovered in London.
At the time of the Second World War, and the final period of… read more
Finding or seeing this one is quite a challenge in the US.
When I first saw this, I did make some superficial, personal comparisons – Yasujiro Ozu and Eric Rohmer both sprang to mind. Like… read review