Agantuk

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Agantuk
Agantuk
The Stranger
Directed by Satyajit Ray
Produced by Satyajit Ray
Screenplay by Satyajit Ray
Based on Atithi (short story) 
by Satyajit Ray
Starring Utpal Dutt
Mamata Shankar
Deepankar De
Dhritiman Chatterjee
Promod Ganguli
Rabi Ghosh
Music by Satyajit Ray
Cinematography Barun Raha
Edited by Dulal Dutta
Production
  company
NFD
DD Productions
Distributed by Artificial Eye (UK)
Release date(s)
  • 1991 (1991) (India)
  • 22 May 1992 (1992-05-22) (US)
  • 19 November 1993 (1993-11-19) (UK)
Running time 120 mins
Country India
France
Language Bengali

Agantuk (Bengali: আগন্তুক Agontuk, lit. "The Stranger"), English title The Stranger, is a 1991 Bengali drama film directed by Satyajit Ray.[1] It was Ray's last film, based on one of his short stories, Atithi (The Guest). It was a joint Indian-French production with financial backing from companies such as Gérard Depardieu's DD Productions and Canal+.[2]

Plot summary[edit]

Anila Bose (Mamata Shankar) receives a letter from a man, who claims to be her long lost uncle Manomohan Mitra (Utpal Dutt). He is visiting India after 35 years abroad and Anila is his only surviving relative, so he wants to meet her in Calcutta before he sets off again. Anila looks forward to the meeting, but her husband Sudhindra (Deepankar De) is suspicious. The uncle arrives and stays with the family. He says that he is an anthropologist[3] who has traveled all over the world, and he immediately wins the friendship of Anila's son Satyaki.

Anila suddenly remembers her grandfather's will, and Sudhindra is quick to suspect that the man calling himself Manomohan has come only to claim his share of the inheritance. Anila now also starts to doubt his identity, while their son truly believes that he is the man he claims to be.

The central conflict of the film rests upon the identity of the 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. In a final attempt to unravel the truth, he invites a lawyer friend to gently question the guest. However, matter's turn ugly as the lawyer's anger builds up until finally he orders the guest to "either come clean or just clear out." The next morning, the visitor is nowhere to be found. Desperate to find him. the family finally learns that he is in fact Manmohan Mitra and they locate him in a remote village.

The couple apologises to Manmohan, and persuades him to come back with them to Calcutta. Back in Calcutta, just before he leaves for Australia, Manmohan gives the family his entire share of the inheritance.

Production[edit]

Agantuk was to become Satyajit Ray's last film. He died on 23 April 1992, at the age of 70. The film was a joint Indian-French production with financial backing from Gérard Depardieu's DD Productions, Canal+ and a couple of other French companies.[2] Gérard Depardieu is credited as executive producer.[4]

Awards[edit]

At the 1992 Indian National Film Awards, Agantuk won the awards for Best Feature Film and Best Directing, and the Special Jury Award went to Mamata Shankar for her portrayal of Anila.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Surendar Chawdhary (27 May 2011). The Pather Panchali of Satyajit Ray: An Illustrated Study. McFarland. pp. 192–. ISBN 978-0-7864-6353-4. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b IMDb: Company credits for Agantuk Retrieved 2013-05-08
  3. ^ Satyajit Ray; Bert Cardullo (1 March 2007). Satyajit Ray: Interviews. Univ. Press of Mississippi. pp. 210–. ISBN 978-1-57806-937-8. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  4. ^ IMDb: Full cast and crew for Agantuk Retrieved 2013-05-08

External links[edit]