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The Middleman (1976)
"Jana Aranya" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  March 1979 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 631 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 11 critic

After months of unemployment, recent college graduate Somnath enters business as a middleman, but he finds out when success means finding a client's weak spot, the price is more than mere ... See full summary »

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(novel) (as Shankar) , (screenplay)
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Title: The Middleman (1976)

The Middleman (1976) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Pradip Mukherjee ...
Somnath (as Pradip Mukhopadhyay)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rafiq Ahmed ...
(as Dr. Rafiq Ahmed)
S. Bagchi
Ajit Banerjee
Krishna Banerjee
Sachin Banerjee
Samaresh Banerjee
Sudip Banerjee
Satya Bannerjee ...
Somnath's Father
Gita Basu
Arati Bhattacharya ...
Mrs. Ganguli
Sachin Bhattacharya
Umanath Bhattacharya
Jatish Bhora
Rajen Brijnath
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Storyline

After months of unemployment, recent college graduate Somnath enters business as a middleman, but he finds out when success means finding a client's weak spot, the price is more than mere rupees. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

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Drama

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March 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Middleman  »

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Trivia

One of the films of the Calcutta Trilogy, the others being The Adversary (1970) and Company Limited (1971). See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of Ray's starkest movies
20 September 2009 | by (India) – See all my reviews

I have often felt irked by uninformed interpretations of certain works of art and the feeling was similar when I chanced upon a review here that announced Ray's "Jana Aranya", also known as "The Middleman", as a "dud from a master". The movie is most certainly wordy and full of urban dark humor that only a Calcuttan would be able to appreciate naturally. For the very same reason, a Western viewer would only be left to grapple with a bare minimum structure of the plot and would be at a loss to understand why people had to talk so much when the story simply said this: "A young man fares badly in his exams for no fault of his own, is unable to find himself a decent job, becomes a middleman and ultimately sets out to clinch the big deal." People talked so much because a lot of pet Bengali sentiments that mean nothing at other corners of the world are at play here. Terribly parochial and fragile concepts of morality, dignity and forthrightness are bludgeoned with Satyajit Ray's acid humor, albeit compassion and sensitivity worthy of Ray alone weave through the fabric of the story simultaneously. Somnath is hungry for success, but are his Victorian values strong enough to keep him from paying the terrible price for it? Ray bares his fangs and slashes the dark underbelly of Calcutta to spill its guts out. He shows us what his take on morality, immorality and integrity is. It's certainly one of his starkest films and one of his most important.


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