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MIDDLEMAN

India, 1975 (MIFF 1976)

Director: Satyajit Ray

Somnath is a bright student, but he only gets an ordinary pass in his BA exams. His indifferent results make it difficult for him to get a job. Frustrated by inconclusive interviews, he comes across an elderly friend, Bishuda, who suggests he try his hand at business. Somnath starts off in the brokerage business and is intro¬duced to an accountant who helps him obtain his first commission. He discovers there is a delay in payment of the commission and that the businessman expects something on the side. Somnath has to supply what he is asked for or risk losing the commission.

The film's director, Satyajit Ray, has given this description of Somnath's dilemma: "When he fails to get a job, he goes into business as a middle-man and ends up by supplying call-girls to his clients. You could call it a sequel to Company Limited, but it reflects another aspect of the social scene - 'the same sort of corruption perhaps, but seen in a much stronger light - and brings in other elements like the effect of the generation gap. It's a kind of black comedy - and pretty outspoken'.

'Ray makes his Indian films with no knowing side-glances towards other cultures in a furtive bid for understanding; that is why they are so immediately accessible to us through their potent humanity.'

Derek Prowse, Sunday Times

See also...

THE CHESS PLAYERS

This is Satyajit Ray's first film with Hindi and English dialogue. It is also his first historical film, set in mid-nineteenth century India. It is based on a short story by Munshi Premchand. ... Two ... More »

THE ELEPHANT GOD

Each new film by Satyajit Ray brings with it fond memories of earlier privileged moments from this master of cinema. Ray has now been at the height of his powers for some years, and his work in the ... More »

TWO DAUGHTERS

Made to celebrate the centenary of Rabindranath Tagore, "Two Daughters" is based on a duo of his short stories, "The Postmaster and "Samapti". The director, Satyajit Ray, has described them as ... More »

MAHANAGAR

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 ... More »

THE ADVENTURES OF GOOPY AND BAGHA

Goopy is a singer who cannot sing and he meets Bagha, a drummer, after they have both been driven from their respective villages. They sing and play to disperse their fears during ... a night in the ... More »

CHARULATA

Charulata is based on a novel by Rabindranath Tagore. The setting is Calcutta in 1880, where the upper-class Bengali milieu, though strongly rooted in tradition, is nourished by English liberal ... More »

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