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The Stranger [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Dipankar Dey, Mamata Shankar, Bikram Bhattacharya, Utpal Dutt, Dhritiman Chatterjee
  • Directors: Satyajit Ray
  • Writers: Satyajit Ray
  • Producers: Satyajit Ray, Daniel Toscan du Plantier, Gérard Depardieu
  • Format: Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • VHS Release Date: March 10, 1998
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304326319
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,981 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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See all 15 customer reviews
One of the best films I have ever seen.
Gabriel Suchodolsk
This is the the story of how how a life of curiousity and wonder have to survive in this cruel and foolish world which judges everything in materialistic terms.
Avi Solomon
It's very difficult to say about the story, for there is very little to be told, yet so much to be realised and felt when one sees it.
Manojendu Choudhury

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 1999
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 By Ken Miller on 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 By greatbong on 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 By Richard Brzostek VINE VOICE on June 6, 2010
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 By Latino on May 26, 2010
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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