Version 1 (modified by salomex, 12 years ago) (diff)



aka Chiriakhana aka The Zoo 1967 125’ b&w Bengali d/sc/m Satyajit Ray p Harendranath Bhattacharya pc Star Prod. st Saradindu Bannerjee’s novel Chidiakhana c Soumendu Roy lp Uttam Kumar, Sailen Mukherjee, Sushil Majumdar, Kanika Majumdar, Subhendu Chatterjee, Shyamal Ghosal, Prasad Mukherjee, Subira Roy, Nripati Chatterjee, Subrata Chatterjee, Gitali Roy, Kalipada Chakravarty, Chinmoy Roy, Ramen Mullick, Brajadas, Nilatpal Dey, Jahar Ganguly

This relatively unknown Ray film, made to help out some friends, is his first real detective thriller (cf. Sonar Kella, 1974; Joi Baba Felunath, 1978) although he had deployed the generic narrative structure often before (cf. Kanchanjunga, 1962). The detective Byomkesh Bakshi (Kumar) is hired by a retired judge (S. Majumdar) to trace a former screen actress who lives in a colony for social outcasts (run by the judge to atone for sentencing several convicts to death). Bakshi ends up investigating the mysterious death of his own client. He unmasks the culprit when he notices that, in a series of tape-recorded interviews with the inhabitants, a woman (G. Roy) betrays her identity by her accent. The woman turns out to be the former film actress, whose career was ruined by her lover when he changed her looks with plastic surgery.