A group of Calcutta city slickers, including the well-off Asim (Soumitra Chatterjee), the meek Sanjoy (Subhendu Chatterjee) and the brutish Hari (Samit Bhanja), head out for a weekend in the wilderness.
In this adaption of the Ibsen stage play, an idealistic physician discovers that the town's hot springs are dangerously contaminated. But with the community relying on the spa for tourist dollars, his warnings to the falls for deaf ears.
A young college graduate is struggling to find a job. He lives in a flat with his younger, employed sister, revolutionary brother and widowed mother. The strain of the situation ultimately causes him to hallucinate.
My feelings about this film are a bit mixed. It's very different from the other Satyajit Ray films I've seen, The Apu Trilogy (1955-1959) and Devi (1960). In contrast to those films, Porosh Pathor was more of a magical-realist dark comedy rather than a drama. It didn't have a laugh-out-loud kind of humour either, but had a more subtle kind of humour. However, the concept behind the film was creative and innovative, while the plot was more meaningful and thought-provoking than most comedies.
The philosopher's stone has long been a dream of alchemists since at least the Middle Ages, but the film attempts to portray the consequences this may have on society when someone finally obtains the legendary stone. Although the film was rushed, as Ray himself admitted, his direction for the film is still impressive. It was also nice for a change that the film wasn't tragic like the other Ray films I saw, but was more up-beat overall. Although it wasn't powerful like Ray's other films, Porosh Pathor was an enjoyable yet thought-provoking film to watch.
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