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

 -  Drama  -  13 April 1994 (France)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 1,154 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 20 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

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

13 April 1994 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Hero  »

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User Reviews

 
The back and forth journey of an actor from illusion to reality
11 December 2006 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Ray's 'Nayak' is undoubtedly one of the best films ever made in history of Indian cinema. The story about an actor, Arnidam Mukherji, who is hailed as some sort of a demigod in the country, unfolds during a train journey and is told through several interesting narrative techniques : His life is presented in the form of a disjunctive montage, several pieces of which he supplies himself - mainly through the candid interviews given to his co-passenger, a freelancing journalist and the archetypal "modern woman" Aditi, and through his dreams, which reveal his innermost fears and the ghosts of his past. To his fellow passengers, and to most of his fans and audience, he is a charming, larger than life superstar, and the twin reports of his receiving an award in Delhi and getting involved in a brawl in a club, invite the same amount of speculation and curiosity from them. Arindam the superstar and Arindam the man with a conscience are constantly at conflict. His awareness of the superficiality of an actor's life clash with his concerns about the box-office and of becoming a forgotten hero

  • a fate bestowed upon many of the actors he had known personally. He


desperately needs a person who will listen, and in a drunken stupor he tries to tell Aditi the truth about the reported brawl and the deception of Promila, his co-actor and flame. Aditi doesn't want any explanations, but she understands his turmoil - her prejudice against the brash, cocky film star is formidably shaken as she glimpses the real man behind the actor - someone vulnerable, broken and anguished, who has become a puppet in the hands of the film industry and the "public" as he puts it. Life goes on as usual, despite both Arindam and Aditi achieving a kind of epiphany during the train journey. The film for me is remarkable not just because of its story or symbols or technical finesse, but because of the brilliant acting and dialogs. 'Nayak', if I'm not mistaken is Uttam Kumar's (incidentally a huge superstar himself) first ever film with Ray. The sensitivity with which he has portrayed the character, almost makes us believe that, this is really his own life story that is being played out before our eyes. One of the smartest and slickest Ray films ever, this one gets a 10 from me. A must watch.


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