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Shakha Proshakha (1990)

Four brothers converge around an ailing father.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ajit Banerjee ...
Ananda Majumdar (as Ajit Bandyopadhyay)
Haradhan Bannerjee ...
Probodh (as Haradhan Bandyopadhyay)
...
Prasahnto (as Soumitra Chattopadhyay)
...
Probir (as Depankar De)
...
Protap
...
Uma
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
(as Shriman Soham Chakraborty)
Promode Ganguly
Bhishma Guhathakurta
Sunil Gupta Kabiraj
Soven Lahiri
Tarun Mitra
Ashok Mukherjee ...
(as Ashok Mukhopadhyay)
Kamu Mukherjee ...
(as Kamu Mukhopadhyay)
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Storyline

An aged patriarch (Ajit Bannerjee), popular for his scrupulous honesty, has a heart attack in the middle of a town gathering in his honour. The event brings togehter his four sons, of which the second Proshanto (Soumitra) has been in reclusive insanity for several years after a shock incident years ago. Waiting for closure on the father's health situation, the four reminisce and relive ideological differences. Written by Joyojeet Pal

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Drama

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Release Date:

21 August 1991 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Branches of the Tree  »

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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Orchestra Suite no. 2 in B minor. BWV 1067 - Polonaise, Double
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by unknown
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User Reviews

Good wombs have borne bad sons
14 February 2011 | by (India) – See all my reviews

This is Ray's second last film made when he was just short of seventy. The tree is Ananda Mazumdar, a retired industrialist famed for his honesty and philanthropy, to the extent of having his town named after him. The branches are the four sons and two spouses. Mazumdar suffers a heart attack and as he hovers in the danger zone, the progeny converges around him. Ray is a good spinner of yarns and he knows how to play the heartstrings. Here he gives us a taut drama about old age and family relations with the background of Bengali society of the eighties (there is a family picnic and one of the cars is a Maruti 800).

Unlike some of his more acclaimed films which are about youth and childhood, this one is about aging with which comes cynicism and tolerance. He is able to turn an eye more understanding than indignant towards the corruption and rot in society. This somewhat lame anger is voiced through the youngest of the four sons, who chooses to opt out from the bribe driven business world. Ray was often accused of not being sufficiently concerned about the ills of society. He is after all no activist or reformer: he is a mere genius, an artist and a truthful mirror of the society to which he belongs.

Ray's women are more the expression of his ideals of humanity. The men are more often pathetic shadows, as in this one. Lily Chakravati as one of the wives gives a bold and charismatic portrayal of a woman disappointed in her marriage, with a mind and strength of self acceptance beyond her era and milieu.

This is a more complex film which expands the canvas to depict an era and a society. It achieves a high level of dramatic tension, even though it lacks the compassion and innocence of some earlier movies. It definitely limps at many places, as Ray is affecting a piety not his own. It is not his nature to judge people, as if to say, that might have been me. On the whole, a gripping film for all it's negligible weaknesses, easy and enjoyable to watch.


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