THE VISITOR


Title   Cast   Director   Year Shown  Other Info    Country  Notes 


Agantuk

India, 1991, 120 min

Shown in 1992

CREDITS

dir
Satyajit Ray
prod
Satyajit Ray
scr
Satyajit Ray
cam
Barun Raha
editor
Dulal Dutta
cast
Deepankar De, Utpal Dutt, Mamata Shankar

OTHER

source
NFDC

Satyajit Ray, 1992's Kurosawa Award recipient, has come up with his best film in several years. The Visitor centers on a wealthy upper-class Calcutta couple. Out of the blue, the wife Anila receives a letter from her long-lost uncle Manomohan, the family’s black sheep who went overseas in 1955 (the year Ray completed his first film, Pather Panchali) and hasn’t been heard from since. Husband Sudhindra is instantly suspicious: What else could this wanderer want but money? Or maybe this isn’t Uncle Manomohan, but an impostor. Suspicions aren’t allayed once he arrives; he seems genuine but behaves in a strange and unworldly manner. As they get to know the old man, they discover he’s an almost mystical character who left because he wanted to be a painter. He traveled to countries where tribal people survive, seeking inspiration from their knowledge and wisdom. In a magical scene, the family follows him to a tribal village in the Bengali hinterlands and, while watching the women performing a traditional dance, Anila is persuaded to join in. Ray tells this story with calm serenity. The story’s charm and power gradually imposes itself on the viewer, as indeed the charm of the uncle gradually imposes itself on the family. Ray, as usual, provides a subtly attractive music score.

—David Stratton, Variety