A highly critical look at the role of "progressive" art and artists in a changing society.

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Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A selfless young woman (Supriya Choudhury) sacrifices her own happiness for her unappreciative family.

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A man (Abhi Bhattacharya) opposes the love between his sister and the orphan (Satindra Bhattacharya) they adopted years earlier.

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Ramu,eldest son a family of migrants to Calcutta,is a fresh graduate searching for a job like many others in post-Partition Calcutta.

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A misbehaving boy who runs away from his village and goes to Calcutta.

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In this quest narrative that makes the Odyssey look like a trip to the mall, four men, each peculiar in his own way, embark on a quest to reason with the estranged wife of the protagonist.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Supriya Choudhury ...
Ansuya
Abanish Banerjee ...
Bhrigu (as Abanish Bandyopadhyay)
Anil Chatterjee ...
Rishi (as Anil Chattopadhyay)
Satindra Bhattacharya ...
Shibnath
Chitra Mandal ...
Jaya
...
Shanta
Gyanesh Mukherjee ...
Debu Bose (as Gyanesh Mukhopadhyay)
Bijon Bhattacharya ...
Gagan
Mantu Ghosh
Dwiju Bhawal
Satyabrata Chattopadhyay ...
Prabhat
Nirmal Ghosh
Arun Mukherjee ...
(as Arun Mukhopadhyay)
Tilottama Bandyopadhyay
Arun Chowdhury
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Storyline

Set in the contentious 1950s, the film's plot is structured around the rivalry of two radical theatre groups. One is lead by Bhrigu, the other by Shanta. Shanta's niece Anusuya participates in Bhrigu's work to the disapproval of her own group. When the two groups join together for a production, Shanta deliberately sabotages it. Bhrigu and Anusuya both discover they are both refugees separated from their country (Bangladesh) and they fall in love. Eventually Anusuya, scheduled to marry Samar and move to France, decides to stay with Bhrigu. Written by Swarup Basak

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical

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Release Date:

14 January 1991 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

A Soft Note on a Sharp Scale  »

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Followed by Subarnarekha (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
one of the greatest films ever made
18 May 2001 | by (los angeles) – See all my reviews

ritwik ghatak suffers outside india from not being satyajit ray. to most american and british audiences ray is alternative indian cinema just as kurosawa is alternative japanese cinema and the attention to the "universal" appeal of these auteurs' films obscures the pioneering work of many other great film-makers (as well, of course, much of their own work--the ray of "mahanagar" is not the ray of "pather panchali", for instance, or at least not in the same way).

similarly non-indian audiences are not always attuned to the role of music and songs in indian films. in ghatak's cinema (and "komal gandhar" in particular) music is used not just to advance the story-line as in say the great bombay films of guru dutt but formally as well. ghatak intentionally mixed folk and popular art forms in an attempt to create a new form of political expression and this is nowhere as effective as in the most personal of his early films, "komal gandhar" which draws upon his days in the IPTA-- a theater group that included composers such as salil chowdhury whose songs, "obak prithibi" among them, are featured prominently in this film. the impact of these songs is not translatable in subtitles and it is not surprising that non bengali/indian audiences might think of this as just another example of extraneous song and dances numbers inserted into an indian film.

it is a shame that ghatak's films are not widely available in india let alone in the the world outside. but those in the san francisco area should not miss the opportunity to view this and a number of ghatak's other masterpieces starting this very weekend (end of may, 2001).


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