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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...

DISTANT THUNDER

This is Satyajit Ray's second film in colour, and the Grand Prize winner at the Berlin Festival. The film is set in 1942, and its subject is the impact of war on an isolated Bengali village. ... The ... More »

APARAJITO

In the second part of the Apu trilogy, we find Harihar, his wife, Sarbojaya, and their son, Apu, in the holy city of Benares. Here, the father ekes out a living by reading the scriptures; when he ... More »

THE STRANGER

... ... The great Indian director Satyajit Ray died in April, shortly after receiving an Oscar for his lifetime achievements. His last film,The Stranger, is a deceptively simple but affecting moral ... More »

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 »

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 »

WORLD OF APU

So much has already been written about Pather Panchali and Aparajito that Ray's trilogy was destined for classic status even before the release of the third instalment, and the various influences ... More »

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