wiki:Teen Kanya

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Teen Kanya

aka Three Daughters, aka Two Daughters 1961 56’(Postmaster)/61’(Monihara)/ 56’(Samapti) b&w Bengali d/p/sc/m Satyajit Ray pc Satyajit Ray Prod. st Rabindranath Tagore c Soumendu Roy lp (Postmaster) Anil Chatterjee, Chandana Bannerjee, Nripati Chatterjee, Khagen Pathak, Gopal Roy; (Monihara) Kali Bannerjee, Kanika Majumdar, Kumar Roy, Govinda Chakravarty; (Samapti) Soumitra Chatterjee, Aparna Das Gupta (aka Aparna Sen), Seeta Mukherjee, Geeta De, Santosh Dutta, Mihir Chakravarty, Devi Neogi

Three short films adapted from three Tagore stories compiled for the writer’s centenary. Western versions usually omit Monihara. In Postmaster, the most sentimental of the stories, Nandalal the postman (A. Chatterjee) is assigned the 10-year-old orphan Ratan (Bannerjee) as his assistant. Ill treated by his predecessor, she develops an attachment to Nandalal as he teaches her to read and write. Their acquaintance is abruptly ended when the postman falls ill and is transferred. Their wordless parting, as his rupee tip is rejected, was widely commended. Monihara is narratively the most complicated and the closest Ray has come to horror film. A schoolteacher (Chakravarty) tells of Manimalika (Majumdar), the jewellery-crazy wife of a zamindar (Bannerjee). When her husband has financial difficulties, Manimalika offers to sell her jewellery and then disappears with the shady Madhusudhan (Roy). When the zamindar returns to a deserted house and opens the new box of jewels he brought for his wife, manic laughter resounds and Manimalika’s ghost appears to snatch the jewels. Returning to the storyteller, we discover that the hooded figure to whom the tale is addressed is the husband, who questions its accuracy and then vanishes. In Samapti, university graduate Amulya (Chatterjee) prefers to marry the extrovert Mrinmoyee (Das Gupta) rather than the woman chosen by his family. The wedding is both preceded and followed by a series of comic situations, first as Mrinmoyee disrupts the formal meeting with Amulya and his official bride-to-be and makes off with his shoes, and then on their wedding night when she escapes down a tree to sleep on her favourite perch by the river. Eventually the couple is reconciled as she promises to abandon her childish ways. Ray composed his own music score, combining Tagore and folk compositions with a much greater emphasis on ‘musicalised’ sound effects than in his earlier work.