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The Coward (1965)
"Kapurush" (original title)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 459 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 16 critic

Amitabha Roy (Soumitra Chatterjee), a sriptwriter has a breakdown near a tea-estate and he is offered a place to stay by the estate manager (Haradhan Banerjee) at his bungalow. When he ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Amitabha Roy (as Soumitra Chattopadhyay)
Madhabi Mukherjee ...
Karuna Gupta (as Madhabi Mukhopadhyay)
Haradhan Bannerjee ...
Bimal Gupta (as Haradhan Bandyopadhyay)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Santi Chatterjee ...
(as Shanti Chattopadhyay)
Satish Haldar
Deochand Lal
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Storyline

Amitabha Roy (Soumitra Chatterjee), a sriptwriter has a breakdown near a tea-estate and he is offered a place to stay by the estate manager (Haradhan Banerjee) at his bungalow. When he reaches, Amitabha finds out that the manager is married to his ex-girlfriend, Karuna (Madhabi Mukherjee). The manager has invited Amitabha to assuage his own boredom # and fails to notice the uneasiness between his wife and the guest. The plot unfolds over a period of approximately one-day when they have dinner, breakfast and go for a picnic # and small gestures rekindle Amitabha's memories. Through a series of flashbacks, he remembers their first meeting, courtship and separation (which was solely because of his lack of courage to make a commitment). Amitabha's current affluence and his suspicion of Karuna's unhappiness leads him to propose to Karuna once again but she is inclined to believe that the time to muster up courage has gone past. Written by Diptakirti Chaudhuri

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7 May 1965 (India)  »

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The Coward  »

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User Reviews

 
The most fascinating quality about Kapurush is its brevity...
7 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The most fascinating quality about Kapurush is its brevity – the brevity of the film runtime (74 mins), its terseness in dialogues and the concision in expressions delivered by the protagonists of this film. It is a remarkable craft.

It's hard to imagine for any film maker of international repute to deal with a subject like Kapurush and tackle in-depth human emotions and consciousness, so succinctly and precisely, in just about 74 minutes. Some filmmakers would take alteast the normal 120-140 minutes length to be able to deal with a subject like Kapurush in order to give a wholesome cinematic form. Satyajit Ray took just 74 times to tell a story revolving around 3 main characters, depicting their psyche and intense mental turmoil – all unspoken but using subtle eye movements and small body gestures. The film is the finest example of optimal usage of speech, gesture, expression and length. The film highlights Ray's prowess in the economy of speech and cinematic resources. Kapurush inevitably epitomizes Ray's mastery and control over every aspects of film-making.

The ending of the film is undoubtedly the most exciting part - as with many of Ray's films, it leaves the audience to draw several conclusions, and as a result makes you think. And that's what makes Ray's films so unique – they are all subtle, calm and composed films – but after you have seen them, they bore a deep imprint on your mind and makes you think. Kapurush is one of them.

Unfortunately, Kapurush is a highly underrated film, perhaps because Ray is impeccable and had consistently produced masterpieces. As a result of this, a film like Kapurush got overshadowed. For any other world-class film-maker of today, it would have been a jewel in his or her oeuvre. Well, as I always say – Satyajit Ray is the God of Cinemas....period.


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