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Pratidwandi (The Adversary)
Directed by Satyajit Ray
Produced by Priya Films (Nepal Dutta, Asim Dutta)
Written by Satyajit Ray
Starring Dhritiman Chatterjee,
Krishna Bose,
Indira Devi,
Kalyan Chowdhury,
Joysree Roy,
Debraj Roy,
Release date(s) 1972
Running time 110 min.
Language Bangla

Pratidwandi or Pratidandi (literally Adversary, Opponent or Competitor in Bengali; known internationally as The Adversary) is a 1972 Indian Bengali film directed by Satyajit Ray based on the novel by Sunil Gangopadhyay. It is the first part of the Calcutta trilogy. Set during the period of the naxalite movement in Bengal, Pratidwandi tells the story of Siddharta, an educated middle-class man caught within the turmoils of social unrest. Corruption and unemployment is rampant, and Siddhartha cannot align himself with either his revolutionary activist brother, or career-oriented sister.

The film is stylistically unusual for Ray, featuring techniques inspired by the French New Wave, such as jump-cuts, edgy framing, dream sequences, and sexual metaphors. Some of the experimental techniques which the film pioneered include photo-negative flashbacks and X-ray digressions.[1]



The historical background of the film Pratidwandi is set on the decade of a wide range of political turmoil in India. The huge influx of refugees during the partition of India and loss of economic activity in the hinterland of kolkata resulted in the stagnation of the economy of Kolkata. The Naxalbari movement under Charu Majumdar saw splitting in the Communist part and an uprise in Naxalite movement inspired by the Maoist doctrine. Kolkata saw the most amount of activities of the Maoist revolutionary group who constantly preached the local students and intellectuals. The main character Siddhartha's brother is an example of one such.


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