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Nayak: The Hero (1966)
"Nayak" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  13 April 1994 (France)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 1,248 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 22 critic

En route to Delhi to receive an award, a Bengali film star reevaluates his success through his fellow passengers, dreams and past experiences.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Uttam Kumar ...
Arindam Mukherjee
Sharmila Tagore ...
Aditi
Bireswar Sen ...
Mukunda Lahiri
Somen Bose ...
Sankar
Nirmal Ghosh ...
Jyoti
Premangshu Bose ...
Biresh
Sumita Sanyal ...
Promila Chatterjee
Ranjit Sen ...
Haren Bose
Bharati Devi ...
Lali Chowdhury ...
Bulbul (Mr. Bose's daughter)
Kamu Mukherjee ...
Pritish Sarkar (as Kamu Mukhopadhyay)
Susmita Mukherjee ...
Molly (Mr. Sarkar's wife) (as Susmita Mukhopadhyay)
Subrata Sensharma ...
Ajoy (as Subrata Sen)
Jamuna Sinha ...
Sefalika (Ajoy's wife)
Hiralal ...
Kamal Misra
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Storyline

A matinee idol Arindam Mukherjee (Uttam Kumar) is going by train to collect an acting award. On the train, he is confronted by a journalist Aditi (Sharmila Tagore) who somewhat unwillingly starts to take his interview. Arindam, won over by Aditi's naivete, starts to disclose his past, his fears and his secrets. On a parallel track, a number of sub-plots unfold (involving an advertising executive and his wife, a businessman and his family, a silent swami and a cranky old man) to reveal the hypocrisies and frailties of the society. The film reaches a climax when Arindam, overcome by his guilt, contemplates suicide and is dissuaded by Aditi. The next morning, Aditi who had surreptitiously taken notes of their conversation destroys them - not wanting to reveal Arindam's darkest secrets. When the train reaches its destination, Arindam alights and is surrounded by his fans and is back to his normal star self where there is no place for guilt, confessions and Aditi. Written by Diptakirti Chaudhuri <diptakirti@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Drama

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13 April 1994 (France)  »

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The Hero  »

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User Reviews

 
A true masterpiece by Satyajit
25 January 1999 | by (San Diego, CA) – See all my reviews

A least seen movie of Satyajit. Satyajit is one of the very few great directors who worked outside Hollywood circle and gave a lot to the film history. He is mostly know to the movie lovers as the creator of great APU TRILOGY. I feel that Ray's works are severely under-represented in USA, although most of his works are masterpiece or near-masterpiece. Thanks to Ishmael Marchent for arranging a retrospective on Ray's works at USA in 1996, I guess. But again in that retrospective, I didn't see the names of some of his great works, like NAYAK, KUNCHENJUNGHA, SEEMABADHYA, ARANYER DIN RATRI or SONAR KELLA. Names of the films that I always see in a Satyajit Festival are the APU TRILOGY, JALSHAGHAR, CHARULATA, GHARE-BAIRE ... etc. No doubt that all of those are great works of Ray, but indeed one cannot know the power of his filmmaking unless he sees some of his other less known works (some of which I mentioned).

Nayak is a simple story of the most popular Film Actor of India, acted with all perfection by great Indian Actor Uttam Kumar, who goes to the capital city Delhi to receive an award of his achievement via a train. On the train he meets Shormila Tagore (Another favorite actress of Satyajit whom he casted in several other movies like, Apur Sansar, Devi, Aranyer Din Ratri, Seemabadhya ... etc.) and some other characters of the story. The story progresses when Uttam discusses with different aspects of his life and career with others (especially with Shormila). In depth thoughts and feelings of UTTAM sprung out as time goes by and Shormila discovers the very lonely man in Uttam hidden behind his day to day charismatic lifestyle.

On my judgement, NAYAK is the greatest creation of RAY. UTTAM's acting can challenge anyone in the motion picture history. The high abstratness and philosophical bent of the movie is comparable to that of CITIZEN KANE (according to me, better than CITIZEN KANE) and the mutual conversations among the characters or the screenplay in other words, can beat those of MINDWALK, VANYA ON 42nD STREET, RED or CASABLANCA. A must see film for all great movie lovers. A 10+ out of 10.


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