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aka The Coward 1965 74’ b&w Bengali d/sc/m Satyajit Ray p R.D. Bansal pc R.D.B. st Premendra Mitra’s Janaiko Kapuruser Kahini c Soumendu Roy lp Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee, Haradhan Bannerjee

Ray’s morality play, usually shown with Mahapurush (1964), continues his ensemble play format. Both films were dubbed in Hindi and commercially released. Movie writer Amitabha Roy (Chatterjee) finds shelter with a tea magnate (Bannerjee) in Darjeeling when his car breaks down. He finds that the magnate is married to his former lover Karuna (Mukherjee). The film intercuts the banal conversation of the long evening and a picnic the next day with flashbacks showing how Roy had once betrayed Karuna. He offers, in a hurriedly written note, to marry her if she wishes to leave her husband. She turns him down, arriving at their rendezvous simply to recover a bottle of sleeping pills. Critic Chidananda Das Gupta saw the film as a sequel to Charulata (1964), replaying the man’s inability to defy social norms.