- 2 hr
Agantuk is an Indian Bengali drama film, directed and written by Satyajit Ray, which was released in 1991. The movie is based on a short story named "Atithi" written by Ray himself. It is his final work as a film director and won several international and national accolades. The story revolves around an unexpected guest, who visits an Indian family residing in Kolkata after thirty-five long years.
The protagonist of the movie, Sudhindra Bose (Utpal Dutt), is a retired person who lives with his wife Anila Bose (Bhishma Guhathakurta) in an old-fashioned but lavish house in Kolkata. They invite their neighbours and close friends to celebrate Durga Puja when they come to know about an unexpected visitor arriving at their house. Sudhindra Bose is surprised to see a man at his doorstep, who introduces himself as Manomohon Mitra (Dipankar Dey), claiming to be his long-lost nephew. Sudhindra hesitates to believe him, yet he invites him inside, and over the next few days, he becomes their guest. Manomohon is a bearded stranger, who seems to be untouched by the fast-changing modern world, and he claims to be a globe-trotter who has lived his life exploring various cultures and traditions of different countries.
At first, Sudhindra is skeptical and suspects Manomohon's true motives, but as the story unfolds, he begins to believe him, and they start bonding. Sudhindra's wife Anila, who is initially cautious, also starts to warm up to Manomohon's innocent charm. Soon, Manomohon's presence starts affecting Sudhindra's family members, including their daughter-in-law Sudha (Mamata Shankar), son-in-law Nandadulal (Deepankar De), and their friends, who start visiting them to meet Manomohon. However, Sudhindra accidentally discovers a clue about Manomohon's past, which raises doubts in his mind and changes the course of the story.
The movie delves into various themes, primarily portraying the changing ideologies and socio-economic differences between the younger and older generations. It shows how Sudhindra's family members perceive Manomohon's knowledge and views about the world to be outdated, suggesting that he is not capable of adapting to the modern world. Still, Manomohon's interactions with them prove otherwise, showing how important human connections are regardless of age or culture. The film also explores the complexities of the psychology of human behaviour, highlighting the need for empathy and understanding.
One of the unique aspects of the movie is its cinematography, which involves a combination of low angle shots, medium shots, and close-ups, enabling the audience to visually experience the characters' emotions and expressions. The film also boasts of a beautiful background score by Ray, which complements the visuals.
The movie's lead cast, primarily Utpal Dutt, delivers a stellar performance that portrays his subtle and nuanced acting skills. Dipankar Dey also shines through his portrayal of an enigmatic and charismatic stranger. Mamata Shankar delivers an excellent performance as Sudhindra's daughter-in-law, showcasing her range as an actor.
In conclusion, Satyajit Ray's Agantuk is a timeless classic that explores the humane side of human nature, fostering a sense of nostalgia and belongingness in viewers' minds. The movie is an ode to traditional values and family bonding, portraying how differences can be overlooked for the sake of human connection. It is a must-watch for everyone who enjoys a thought-provoking and heart-warming cinematic experience.
Agantuk is a 1991 drama with a runtime of 2 hours. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.0.