"Meghe Dhaka Tara" tells the tragic story of the beautiful daughter of a middle-class refugee family from East Pakistan, living in the outskirts of Calcutta under modest circumstances. ... See full summary »
The first story is about Nanda, a young man who leaves Calcutta to work as a postmaster in an isolated malaria-infested village. The postmaster is looked after by a young orphan girl, Ratan... See full summary »
After months of unemployment, recent college graduate Somnath enters business as a middleman, but he finds out when success means finding a client's weak spot, the price is more than mere ... See full summary »
Untouchable shoemender Dukhi comes to the Brahmin's and asks him to arrange his daughter's engagement. The Brahmin belongs to a higher caste. He wants Dukhi to work for him (and for free) ... See full summary »
Gangacharan is the new Brahmin of a village, where he assumes various duties: teaching, organizing religious events, and trying to prevent epidemics. But in that year 1943, war is raging (... See full summary »
Sen Gupta, a doctor who only treats upper-class patients, is forced to confront his own moral and medical beliefs as he discovers rural India during an unexpected stop at a village. He ... See full summary »
WARNING -- PLOT DISCUSSED -- Umaprasad is a modern man. He argues with his wife, Doyamoyee, about the value of a modern education when she asks him not to leave her at home for his college in Calcutta. (Doyamoyee is 17 and the two have been married for four years. They seem still to have the attraction of newlyweds for each other -- yes, it can happen, even with an arranged marriage!) Why do you need to go away for this kind of education, she asks him. Umaprasad's father is a good and learned man; he never needed that kind of an education and he has always done his duty to his family and to god. Doyamoyee and the father, a widow, have great regard for each other and while Umaprasad is away in the metropolis, the father's regard for his young daughter-in-law grows, slowly, to what we might consider an extremely pathological level. Is there some sexual tension behind this astonishing behaviour? It's always possible. But don't be misled; this film is not in any way about sex or perversity. All the outward manifestations of affection are very proper and correct in a Bengali context. (A foot massage given by a young wife to her father-in-law is not considered an erotic act, rather a dutiful one.) This film is about the nature of devotion and duty. The father's level of devotion becomes dangerous to everyone in the household -- for Doyamoyee, for Umaprasad, and for Umaprasad's elder brother Taraprasad and his wife Harasundari and their child. Umaprasad doesn't agree with his father, Taraprasad probably doesn't, Doyamoyee probably don't either. But what can be done? The father's devotion is perfectly logical in the context of tradition. How can Umaprasad speak against it? It will take courage. But courage to do what, destroy his own father? There is a complex web of duties involved. How will Umaprasad do his duty to his father? his wife? Has the childless Doyamoyee failed in her duties to her husband? How will Harasundari do her duty to her father-in-law as well as to her husband and to her young son? All these questions are implied. As usual, director Satyajit Ray applies a subtle hand -- given an extraordinary situation, what would you really do? How would you really behave? To westerners, Umaprasad's reaction to his father's actions may be unbelievable. This is perhaps a difference in place in time. Put yourself in his shoes -- devotion must be respected and duty must be done.
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