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MAHANAGAR

India, 1963 (MIFF 1965)

Director: Satyajit Ray

Turning his back on the nostalgic past, on the lyricism of his earlier films. Satyajit Ray has produced a completely realistic contemporary masterpiece. Its theme is the conflict between the old and the new and how it affects a young couple. The principal characters are an accountant, Suhraia. and Ins wife. Aran Suhrata's salary at a local bank does not meet the needs of the family, which includes ageing parents and a couple of children. Aran takes a job as a door-to-door salesgirl peddling knitting machines and is delighted with her new life The grandparents, considering this the ultimate disgrace, are inconsolable. Subraia whose idea it was in the first place, is now torn with doubts. Ray makes one smile at their exaggerated fears, yet sympathises with their distress. His mastery really becomes apparent in the enhancement of the comic aspect of the story Madhabi Mukherjee is Ray's finest actress, and as Arati. her door to door visits in the superficial world of lipstick and snnglasses are both moving and hilarious, yielding some delightful encounters.

President's Award from India. 1963; Best Indian Film, 1963; Best Direction Award, Berlin Festival.

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