What civilization we have created in the name of being social animal? What is the real civilization –the tribal one or the one our progressive society has been carrying from the very day of urbanization? Although these are not the questions we often dwell ourselves into; but that’s what great film makers like Satyajit Ray stroke at in subtle films like this one.
What happens if any stranger becomes a part of your regular life for whom you carry a suspension of disbelief? Some times we come to know that stranger in the most intimate moment of one’s life. If one thinks too deeply, this film also questions the very human notion of knowing or unknowing which always remains limited and relative in every individual case. In the name of civilization and sophisticated comfort, sometimes we forget to be human in its true sense and this film by Ray is just showing the reflection image with mild and touchy story to nourish in your film watching experience.
An unexpected and rather unwanted stranger visits the upper middle class Bengali family claiming to be the woman’s long lost uncle back to Kolkota after 35 years of his roaming the world. The initial suspicion with which they greet the man slowly dissolves as he starts telling them the stories of his travels; tales which are at odds to conventional middle class perspective of Bengali family. The suspicious husband arranged an intelligent trap to nab him. The story takes an interesting turn as it progress further.
Utpal Dutt is perfect casting choice of Ray for playing ‘To be or not to be uncle’ who represents suave, intelligent and rational free thinker. However Dutt looks too old compared to his early films; he carried the lead role with his magnetic personality and well presence of character. The film also has some staunch Bengali art house actors like Dhritiman Chattejee, Mamata Shankar, and Deepankar De.
Ray seems so relevant even today. Yes you were right sir; we are still ‘Kupmonduk’ but we strive not to be one.
Highly Recommended for all those who loves to watch meaningful cinema.
I love to thank Abhishek for this fine recommendation.