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The Stranger (Agantuk) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1991) [DVD] (1991)

Utpal Dutt , Satyajit Ray  |  G |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Price: $29.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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The Stranger (Agantuk) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1991) [DVD] + Two Daughters (Dui Kanya) - (Mr Bongo Films) + Goddess (Devi) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1960)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Utpal Dutt
  • Directors: Satyajit Ray
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Bengali (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: Bengali
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Mr Bongo Films
  • DVD Release Date: December 1, 2009
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002WCDQJG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,901 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Stranger was Satyajit Ray's last film, and it shows all the virtues of a master artist in full maturity --Washington Post

A small, gentle, exquisitely realized comedy about, among other things, family loyalties and trust in a world in which traditions have been devalued --New York Times

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

Product Description

A letter to Anila (Mamata Shankar) announcing the return of her long lost uncle leaves her curious even as it provokes deep suspicion from her husband Sudhin (Deepankar De). On his arrival, Manmohan (Utpal Dutt) proves to be highly charming, going to considerable lengths to ingratiate himself with the couple and their young son. However neither husband nor wife are truly convinced, less out of suspicion and more because Manmohan s larger-than-life nature leaves him out of place in their mundane life. An anthropologist affected with 'wanderlust', Manmohan's experience of different cultures leaves him a stranger in his homeland and an outsider amongst his remaining family.

Adapted from one of his own stories, Satyajit Ray's The Stranger is a refined philosophical comedy; gentle in its satire of middle-class family mores and elegiac for the traditions of hospitality it weakly upholds. The film, produced by French admirers Gerard Depardieu and Daniel Toscan du Plantier, proved to Ray's last, a fitting capstone to a landmark career.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master's last but not the least! June 8, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Many may overlook this film by the legendary Ray because films such as The Apu Trilogy seem to define him to a lot of people. In this, his last offering, Ray deals with his favorite subject- human nature- and presents it in a marvelous way. The film deals with a family which is visited by a long lost uncle of the wife. The family members are doubtful of the identity of this very well-humored and knowledgeable gentleman though he doesn't seem to threaten their lives in any way. The general mistrust in humanity in these days becomes evident in this film. Brilliantly acted by Utpal Dutt(I think this was his last film as well) and the others, this film is thoroughly enjoyable.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars remarkably engrossing drama June 5, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
A well-to-do- Indian family is paid a visit by the supposedly long-lost uncle of the wife. His passport reads "M. Mitra." But is he a relative? Her husband doubts whether Mitra is really her uncle. She doubts it also, but is frightful of being unhospitable to her own uncle. They agonize over what to do-- how to treat this man, when he may be a dear relative, away from the family for 35 years, and he may be a fraud.
It's been done many times in many movies; the stranger comes into a family and disrupts the quiet domestic life with his foreign ways, his "differentness," but in this potent drama, director Ray injects the question of identity. Is M. Mitra who he says he is? And even if he is, what are his motives? The plot of Agantuk is very simple, but the movie asks the viewer to reconsider how he sees strangers in his society. The setting and characters are of India, but the themes of the movie are universal.
Utpal Dutt is wonderful as M. Mitra, the stranger.
Robi Ghosh is also sensational-- knee-slappingly funny as a family friend who begs to visit so he can slyly question M. Mitra, to determine his authenticity.
Mamata Shankar plays the role of the mother/wife with understated grace, until late in the movie. Then she brings the movie a great deal of heart, in a scene where she openly grieves about the way her family has treated M. Mitra. The scene is touching without being mawkish.
If you love great cinema and gripping drama, rent or buy Agantuk (The Stranger). It goes for your heart and your brain.
ken32
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last work of a genius August 3, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Satyajit Ray's last bow. And no doubt one of his finest.The movie, like most of Satyajit Ray's classics, operates on many levels. On one level, it is an endearing story of a long lost uncle who comes back after many years and throws a typical middle class household into disarray. Is he for real or an imposter ? On the other level, it is a movie about our basic conceptions of civilization, and of our myopic tendency to compartmentalize the world into "family" and "strangers".
Unlike some of Ray's later works, this movie does not become preachy or unduly morose..rather there is a subtle strain of humor that runs through the entire movie .
Acting-wise, Utpal Dutt, in his last role also, gives us the performance of a lifetime. This movie is all Utpal Dutt and there is noone who could have done justice to the role other than him. The supporting cast is stellar comprising some of the best actors of Bengali cinema. And throughout the movie, the technical polish and consummate artistry that is the stamp of a Ray movie is embellished in each shot.
Great till the very end... the only regret is that we will never see movie making like this again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
The Stranger (Agantuk) is a drama about a man who suddenly interrupts the lives of a family. A woman receives a letter from her uncle that left India when she was a small child. As 35 years have passed, it comes as quite a surprise that he now wants to see her and her family. Her husband is suspicious that he may be an imposter or have ulterior motives in wanting to see them. Her son is more trusting and accepts him as his great uncle and is spellbound by the stories of his travels.

Although the story is simple, it has a lot of suspense. The family is put into a strange and difficult place as they treat someone they don't know as honored guest. Their own suspicions do not serve them well as it makes them uncertain of who he is. The stranger is philosophical, worldly, and claims to have experiences that are nearly unbelievable. To a degree, the stranger doesn't help settle their doubts with firm evidence or even conviction that he is really her uncle. He merely tells them that they will believe he is or is not their uncle on their own.

Agantuk is Satyajit Ray's last film; it has everything one would expect of this great director and is sure to please his fans. Satyajit Ray is a remarkable Bengali director that has the talent to capture one's attention and make one totally absorbed in the world he presents. Although I have never been disappointed by any of his movies, I have to say that The Stranger is one of my favorite films by Satyajit Ray.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creature_Comfort May 26, 2010
By Latino
Format:DVD
I own all of Mr Bongo's Ray releases and all are very good quality. You should keep in mind, however, that most of Ray's films have been very poorly kept and so finding good prints is extremely difficult. Also, even original prints were not in the best condition when the films were released due to budget issues. But still, I have compared the Mr Bongo releases with Indian releases and I can tell you that Mr Bongo's are many, many time better - and about as good as your likly to ever find.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
One of the best films I have ever seen. Truely inspiring, sensitive and knoledgeable. Comes as later counterpoint to a vision posed by the Apu trilogy.
Published 16 months ago by Gabriel Suchodolsk
5.0 out of 5 stars a challenge to values
As reviewers of the DVD and video cassette versions before me have mentioned, Ray proceeds here to challenge values of our modern lives, but there's one bedrock value he leaves... Read more
Published on March 26, 2012 by Nanckauf
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the great later films of Satyajit Ray......
Anila (Mamata Shankar) and Sudhindra Bose (Deepankar De) welcome the unexpected arrival of Anila's long lost uncle, Manmohan Mitra (Utpal Dutt) with great hesitation. Read more
Published on May 5, 2007 by D. Pawl
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, engaging and entertaining!
From the earliest films, The Apu Trilogy (1959) to his latest The Stranger (Agantuk), from India, filmmaker Satyajit Ray has garnered numerous awards and is recognized as one of... Read more
Published on September 6, 2006 by  RIZZO 
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonder and the Life of Philosophy in Modern Society
This remarkable film is in many ways a self portrait of Satyajit Ray because he was none other than an anthropologist and philosopher in the true sense of playful, childlike... Read more
Published on June 20, 2004 by Avi Solomon
5.0 out of 5 stars A monster can look very sociable, and yet
This film is rather important, even today. It is about the chase for a Nazi war criminal who has managed to erase his tracks and has emigrated to the US where he managed to... Read more
Published on January 27, 2004 by Jacques COULARDEAU
5.0 out of 5 stars gotta see
Extremely engaging work, excellent acting by utpal dutt
I was expecting some sort of twist in the end, because utpal dutt seems to lead us into not believing in who he really... Read more
Published on February 16, 2003 by "renssnceman"
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius says goodbye
This last work of Satyajit Ray shows a prolific genius never tires of producing masterpieces. Like a typical Ray film, the narration proceeds in more than one dimension and one... Read more
Published on May 28, 2001 by Manojendu Choudhury
5.0 out of 5 stars Food for thought
A masterpiece created by the Master. This films leaves one with questions to ponder on the civilization that we live in, the world around us, reaction of people under different... Read more
Published on December 6, 2000
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