Newly arrived from Calcutta, Nandalal takes a position as the Postmaster of a tiny rural village in Bengal. He has for his servant Ratan, a young orphan girl. She is illiterate, but he teaches her how to read and write. When Nandalal falls ill, Ratan nurses him back to health…
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Chandana Banerjee as Ratan is among the two or three top child performances ever. The way she instinctively shows love and the secret hope for permanence - a home - is touching (and surprising for her age).
It's mystifying to see these three shorts cramped together. The Postmaster is the quintessential Ray film, with one of the most touching conclusions that I have ever seen included. Samapti is charming but forgettable and Monihara is among Ray's worst films.
An underappreciated and underseen gem in Ray’s rich filmography. It’s a shame the print I saw was so terrible, with a criterion restoration this could have a shot at being held in the same arena as Ray’s better known great films - although it may still be a little too slight for such lofty praise.