Two Daughters (Dui Kanya) - (Mr Bongo Films)
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In The Postmaster, the Calcutta-bred Nanda (Anil Chatterjee) performs the titular function in a malaria-stricken village. Alone and bored he forms a bond with his servant Ratan (Chandana Bannerjee). An orphan girl-child, Ratan is moved by her master's kindness while her sweet nature leads Nanda to promise to teach her literacy even as he longs to return home. Conclusion tells the story of an ill-matched couple. When asked by his mother on his choice of bride Amulya (Soumitra Chatterjee) chooses Mrinmoyee (Aparna Das Gupta), the village tomboy. The resulting marriage proves disastrous, exploding in a bitter fight on their wedding night. Amulya withdraws from the village, promising to return only when his wife calls for him, leaving his mother heartbroken and Mrinmoyee reeling with guilt.
Satyajit Ray adapts two short stories by Nobel Laureate and fellow cultural treasure Rabindranath Tagore. Two Daughters has long been recognized as one of his best works with The Postmaster singled out for praise by critic Pauline Kael and film-maker Wes Anderson (Rushmore).
The script, the direction and the music, all created by Mr. Ray, make a blend of poetic creation that is almost majestic --New York Times
Exemplifies, in its modest way, the quiet wisdom and the subtle craftsmanship of his films --San Francisco Chronicle
Rays magic, his sure touch, encompassed every possible technical function... His work becomes an inspiration for all time --Richard Attenborough
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*Note: I watched it on another TV (widescreen) and it didn't seem to have this problem.
The first story is about a man who becomes the new postmaster of a remote village. Although country life is not unpleasant, he is used to living in the city so it is all quite new to him. The postmaster's servant is a young girl named Ratan, and the story is really about their friendship, which is quite touching and memorable.
The film concludes with a story about a young man named Amulya, whose mother wants him to get married. Amulya isn't in a hurry to get married as he has more studies to complete. Amulya's mother arranges for him to meet a woman she would like him to marry, but he finds another woman, who is a tomboy, more to his liking. It might be her free spirit that Amulya finds attractive, but as marriage is a serious thing it also means she has to change her ways as climbing trees wouldn't be seen as proper behavior for a married woman.
You may be wondering why Teen Kanya is also called Three Daughters. It originally had three segments, but one was cut due to the subtitles not being finished in time for the first international release. Hence, Three Daughters became Two Daughters.
Satyajit Ray is a great storyteller and filmmaker. Ray communicates to us through several of our perceptions. The visual clues, such as looking deeply into the eyes of the charters, help us understand what the charters are feeling; while the music and sound, or the lack of it, intensifies the story. Ray has the ability to draw in the viewer quickly with the way he presents his movies. Two Daughters is a movie that makes an excellent introduction to Bengali cinema, as it will leave you thirsting for more.