8.2/10
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8 user 13 critic

Pratidwandi (1970)

A young college graduate is struggling to find a job. He lives in a flat with his younger, employed sister, revolutionary brother and widowed mother. The strain of the situation ultimately causes him to hallucinate.

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(original story), (screenplay)
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| 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dhritiman Chatterjee ...
Siddhartha Chaudhuri (as Dhritiman Chattopadhyay)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Asgar Ali
Arabinda Banerjee
Soumitra Banerjee
Amar Bardhan
Gaja Basu ...
(as Gaja Bose)
Krishna Bose ...
Sutapa
Biplab Chakraborty
Mihir Chakravarti
Anindita Chatterjee
Biplab Chatterjee
Chittaranjan Chatterjee
Dibyendu Chatterjee
Kalyan Chatterjee ...
Shiben (as Kalyan Chattopadhyay)
Mamata Chatterjee ...
Sanyal's wife
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Storyline

A young man, newly graduated from college is unable to find meaningful employment. He lives in a crowded apartment with his widowed mother, a revolutionary brother and a younger, well-employed sister. Family frictions and his continuing unsuccessful quest for a job place an unbearable strain on him causing him to hallucinate. The pressure, magnified by the tense and impersonal setting of Calcutta, builds to a devastating conclusion. Hindu Neorealism? Written by Mr Bongo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

27 October 1970 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Siddharta and the City  »

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One of the films of the Calcutta Trilogy, the others being Seemabaddha (1971) and Jana Aranya (1976). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rebel with a Cause
16 December 2010 | by (India) – See all my reviews

There are as many Rays as there are movies made by him. Having seen a good number, I find the present one different from any of the others. This is not the gentle poet of Pather Panchali nor the romantic chronicler of India's past of Charulata. This is the first of the so called Calcutta Trilogy. The film depicts the agony of youth stranded at the dawn of adulthood, in the specific context of Calcutta in the late sixties.

This was the age of hippies and budding Naxalism, of Woodstock and the Vietnam war.The film reflects the bitterness and anger of an intelligent, sensitive youth man engaged in the herculian task of finding a job.

Siddharth has recently interrupted his medical studies after losing his father. His sister is earning, but that is more because of her youth and femininity, and although nothing specific is imputed, her activities are perceived to be dishonorable. The younger brother is drifting towards shady political activity. Siddhartha's own encounters with women are sensitively portrayed. One charge that can never be made against Ray is lack of realism or anything less than utter honesty. He tells it exactly like it was.

Ray seems to have indulged in some cinematic innovation. There are a number of eery dream sequences which reminded one of the opening sequence in Wild Strawberries. At some points the surrealism definitely seems artificial and overdone as when a whole crowds of job seekers waiting to be interviewed turns into skeletons in his imagination. Like Siddharth, Ray is in love with Calcutta, city of revolt and history and squalor.

He has an unusual ability to condense everything into a short statement of a minute or so. These inspired climactic moments of dense compression punctuate Ray's work. In the present movie this comes towards the end when the seething dammed emotions of the young man explode in a demonstration of rage, as the long wait of the job seekers waiting to be interviewed is prolonged by another hour.

Not his best but his worst is ahead of other's best.


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