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aka The Kaleidoscope 1981 92’ col Bengali d/s Mrinal Sen p Dhiresh Kumar Chakraborty pc D.K. Films Enterprise c K.K. Mahajan m Aloke Dey lp Anjan Dutt, Geeta Sen, Utpal Dutt, Debapratim Dasgupta

The lower-middle-class Calcutta milieu critically examined in Ek Din Pratidin (1979) here becomes the setting for an affectionate comedy with a sting in the tail. A talented young writer, Dipu (A. Dutt), is asked by a newspaper editor (U. Dutt) to write in two days a short story about everyday life. Dipu starts enthusiastically but each situation he addresses appears to have ramifications too wide to deal with in a short impressionistic sketch. He wants to write about families living in overcrowded apartment blocks using coal stoves for cooking because they cannot afford gas. This means the small rooms are constantly filled with smoke. At one point, Dipu’s little brother innocently asks: ‘How many coal stoves are there in the city?’ Dipu, despairing of his ability to deal with the subject in the format commissioned by the newspaper, has an angry wish fulfilment dream which he writes up and presents to the editor who prints the story suitably toned down. Sen returns to the same problem in his next film, Kharij (1982).