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The Stranger
Directed by Satyajit Ray
Produced by National Film Development Corporation of India
Written by Satyajit Ray
Starring Utpal Dutt
Bikramjit - as Satyaki, the boy
Mamata Shankar
Deepankar De
Dhritiman Chatterjee
Promod Ganguli
Rabi Ghosh
Release date(s) 1991
Running time 120 mins
Language Bangla

Agantuk (English The Stranger) is a 1991 Bengali film directed by Satyajit Ray. It was Ray's last film, and is based on one of his short stories, Atithi ("The Guest").

Contents

Plot summary

When Anila (Mamata Shankar) receives a letter from a man, who claims to be her long lost uncle, her husband Sudhindra (Deepankar De) is suspicious. The man claiming to be Manomohan Mitra (Utpal Dutt) appears and stays with the family, stating that he is an anthropologist who has traveled all over the world.

Anila, who initially believes the visitor, is slowly led to believe that he has come to claim his share of property by saying he is her uncle. Only her son believes that the visitor is Anila's uncle.

The central conflict of the film rests upon the identity of this man and the family's struggle to accept or reject it. Sudhindra subjects the visitor to various tests in an effort to resolve this conflict. On one occasion, he invites a lawyer and friend of his to gently question the guest. However, the lawyer's anger builds up until finally he orders the guest to "either come clean or get out." The next morning, the visitor is nowhere to be found; the family finally learns that he is in fact Manmohan Mitra and finds him in a remote tribal village.

The couple apologises to Manmohan, and persuades him to come back with them to Calcutta. In the end, Manmohan hands his niece a piece of paper, which turns out to be the claim to his share of property.

Critical reception

  • "Nothing, it seems, can take away the old fire. Ray's eye for detail and the old magic of his genius can't let go of The Stranger, a tour-de-force. The camera is wielded like a conductor's baton as it strikes chords deep in the mind." - The Times
  • "A graceful comedy made in a serene, classical style... we can still hear in its message the voice of a great artist!" - The New Yorker
  • "A gentle, exquisitely realized comedy, beautifully observed, sweet and enriching!" - Vincent Canby, The New York Times
  • "One of Satyajit Ray's best." - John Hartl, The Seattle Times
  • "Ray's finest work after Pather Panchali." - Ramesh Chopra, The Economic Times

Awards

Agantuk received the following awards: [1]

1991 Venice Film Festival
1992 National Film Awards

External links

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