DIRECTOR: SATYAJIT RAY
CAST: UTTAM KUMAR, SHARMILA TAGORE
Bengali star Uttam Kumar draws upon his own experience of celebrity playing the role of Arindam, a well-known film actor who, unable to find a seat on a flight to Delhi where he is expected to collect an award, finds himself pinned down on the Delhi-Calcutta train by Adita (Ray favorite Sharmila Tagore), an initially hostile, sharp-tongued young journalist who, in the course of their journey and an exhaustive interview exclusive, begins to soften towards this insecurity-plagued screen idol. Arindam’s agonized self-examination is accompanied by flashbacks and surreal dream sequences—indications of the course of bold stylistic experimentation that lay ahead for Ray—while his final collaboration with longtime cinematographer Subrata Mitry renders up one of the loveliest films in Ray’s body of work. Kumar and Tagore’s actors duet offers, among other things, a meditation on so-called high and low culture, while Ray extends the same human interest and ability to delineate character to a plethora of memorable supporting players in this lesser-known great work.