THE GOLDEN FORTRESS (Satyajit Ray, 1974)

“Some people are wearing masks,” Calcutta detective Feluda remarks at a mid-point in the case he is investigating—and he is right: an imposter is afoot. Ironically, Feluda himself is hiding behind a made-up identity: Prodosh Mitra.      Six-year-old Mukul Dhar worries his parents by drawing pictures of camels, a peacock and a golden fortress at two […]

“Samapti” from TEEN KANYA (Satyajit Ray, 1961)

From Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, writer-director Satyajit Ray’s “Samapti” starts out hilarious and troubled and turns tender and joyous. Characters learn to bend to others, to stop being stubborn and to allow others to choose what they want for themselves. Ray, Jean Renoir’s assistant on The River (1951), beautifully alludes (with his girl on a […]

MAHAPURISH (Satyajit Ray, 1965)

The Holy Man, Satyajit Ray’s brilliant comedy about religious conning and chicanery, is the funniest such satire since Chaplin’s The Pilgrim (1923). Even believers may find themselves wetting lower garments by laughing so hard.      Birinchi Baba (Charuprakash Ghosh, hilarious) takes up court with his young companion-disciple in the residence of a widower, retired lawyer Gurupada […]