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The Adversary (Pratidwandi) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1971) [DVD]

Dhritiman Chatterjee , Satyajit Ray  |  PG |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Price: $29.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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The Adversary (Pratidwandi) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1971) [DVD] + Goddess (Devi) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1960) + Two Daughters (Dui Kanya) - (Mr Bongo Films)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Dhritiman Chatterjee
  • Directors: Satyajit Ray
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Bengali (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Mr Bongo Films
  • DVD Release Date: February 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UYBP32
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,192 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Like many opinionated young men, Siddhartha Chowdury (Dhritiman Chatterjee) is thirsty for opportunity. Disillusioned after being rejected from his latest job interview, Siddhartha drifts aimlessly around Calcutta, his thoughts racing with angst, loneliness and sexual repression. His extended periods of solipsism drifts from flashbacks to an idyllic childhood with his family to surreal dream sequences filled with fantasies of action and fulfillment. Like Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye, Siddhartha is angered by the hypocrisy of modern society, where class barriers are rigid and money determines even the most intimate relationships.

The Adversary was among the series of films initiated by Satyajit Ray in the 1970s. Like Company Limited and The Middleman, it presents a stark view of post-Independent urban India and its burgeoning unemployment and corruption. The passionate lyricism characteristic of Ray's best films is accompanied by a sharp psychological study of the protagonist's neurosis, acutely rendered by Chatterjee s excellent performance.


The Adversary moves so quietly, with such seeming politeness to jaded film senses, that it takes a while to realize that for all its somberness it's a particularly moving comedy --The New York Times

A beautiful, understated gem from one of cinemas greats. Its low-key sobriety deserves to inspire and influence future generations --Film4

Ray's mastery, his sure touch, encompassed every possible technical function... His work becomes an inspiration for all time --Richard Attenborough

Customer Reviews

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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Through a glass, darkly November 3, 2006
Satyajit Ray is an important film director, whose work shows a technical virtuosity equal to that of Orson Welles or Howard Hawks, sensitivity to character and social networks equal to that of Yasujiro Ozu, ability to depict a social background equal to that of Akira Kurosawa or Jean Renoir. Of his 37 or so films, eight are available in the UK, seven in the US (four titles common to both countries). Even in India only 24 of Ray's titles are available. Although commonly listed as among the half dozen or so greatest directors in cinema, at the moment at least those interested in film must take this assessment largely on trust.

Pratidwandi, the Adversary, was made in 1970. As in many of Ray's films, he was responsible for script, direction and music. It's an effective portrait of a city, Calcutta, at a particular time, seen from the viewpoint of a medical student, Siddartha, forced to leave university and find a job because of his father's death and the family's sudden descent into poverty.

Jobs are not to be found. Siddartha sits in countless waiting rooms, sweltering in the heat, waiting to be interviewed, never accepted despite his qualifications and ability. He is one of dozens who queue and are rejected. The city is in a state of unrest, the country in crisis. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had declared martial law; political opposition was suppressed and turned covert as communist activists committed acts of terrorism in protest. The situation has repercussions in Siddartha's family. His younger brother is an activist willing to throw bombs; his sister finds work only by dallying with her boss after hours, to the distress of the children's mother. Siddartha, more sensitive than either, is torn between his love of both and concern as to where their behavior will take them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS July 28, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"The Adversary" -- one of the fine films of Satyajit Ray -- is a great film classic -- if only for two scenes. In one, the protagonist spends a sweltering day in a stifling waiting room, hoping to get a job. What ensues is unforgettable. Later, in a second scene, the protagonist meets a young woman and talks with her about their future prospects while strolling atop a high-rise building in downtown Calcutta. In a vivid display of calculated mise en scene technique, Ray blocks his two subjects against a backdrop of thousands of Calcuttans, swarming in a park a dozen stories beneath them. With this empathetic visual metaphor, Ray captures the dilemma of India in the 1960s -- a country of great human assets but overwhelmed resources and infrastructure. This film provides great insight into the fascination and frustration of life in India during this era.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Adversary (1972) shows us life in Calcutta from the viewpoint of a young man named Siddhartha. He is a former medical student that now needs to get a job because his father passed away. His sister has a job but because gossip has it that she and her boss may be up to more than just work, he would love to find a job so she wouldn't have to keep working there.

But getting a job isn't easy for our hero Siddhartha. With interviewers asking a barrage of questions on many random topics placing a job is a difficult task. It doesn't help any that several dozen people are all competing for the same job. As in any tough job market, knowing the right people and having connections is more important than education or qualifications.

An underlining message in the film is political, more specifically that the system is a difficult one and unjust. In the first interview we see Siddhartha on, he is asked if he is a communist. He avoids the question well and they point that out too. Towards the end of the film, there is a scene resembling vertigo that has a hammer and sickle on the background, which is the well-known communist symbol. All in all, I would say the political nature of the movie is subtle but undeniably present.

I was in suspense for some time wondering why the movie is titled The Adversary. By the end, I had a good idea what the title is referring to but I will save you the suspense and let you decide for yourself.

Satyajit Ray is a remarkable director. The Adversary is the first part of his Calcutta Trilogy. Because this movie has a fairly simple story about life, it is one people can relate with. If you enjoy world cinema, The Adversary is a compelling portrait of the effects of city life in India.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Song July 11, 2010
The critical point in the film is the caged bird's song he hears while in the Calcutta bazaar, suspending him,

later from outside his window while writing the letter after he took the job to teach in the village,

at the window he stands, as the film ends

listening to same beautiful song coming from the forest or field...

as I recall the 72 screening I saw in Washington D.C.

sitting now in an Oregon forest surrounded by singing birds
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