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


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The Adversary (Pratidwandi) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1971) [DVD] + Company Limited (Seemabaddha) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1974) [DVD] + Goddess (Devi) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1960) [DVD]
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Product details

  • Directors: Satyajit Ray
  • Format: DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: Bengali, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Mr. Bongo Films
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Oct. 2007
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UYBP32
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,080 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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.

Review

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

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 --New York Times

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

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 --New York Times

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

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By 68000 on 30 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD
Since Amazon sometimes duplicates reviews from one edition to another, please note that this review refers solely to the Mr Bongo edition: MRBVD05. Further, this review deals solely with the quality of that edition. I refer those seeking a review of the film in its own right to the existing five star reviews by others.

This review exists simply to warn those who share my ignorance of Bengali that the English subtitling in this edition is so poor that, if my experience is anything to judge by, it can impair one's ability to remain absorbed in the film and to appreciate it fully.

The subtitles are often almost illegible and, worse, much of the dialogue is not subtitled at all. One cannot usually expect every sentence to be subtitled but long exchanges are frequently ignored, presumably because they were deemed unimportant by the subtitler. The incompetence of the subtitling is sometimes striking. For example, at one point a short sentence that is spoken in English is rephrased, in the subtitles, no more succinctly than the original. I cannot think what, other than carelessness, could have led to this substitution.

I therefore recommend avoiding the Mr Bongo edition of The Adversary if another is available. At the time of writing, unfortunately, there seems to be no such edition. This being the case, I could hardly suggest avoiding The Adversary but perhaps, if you know what to expect of the subtitles, your first viewing will be more satisfactory than mine.

PS It's worth mentioning, for Bengali speakers, that the subtitles cannot be switched off.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Chandak Sengoopta on 16 Dec. 2007
Format: DVD
The Adversary has always been one of Ray's most underrated films. Even Ray's greatest admirers rarely regard it as one of his best. They are wrong. In it, Ray was reacting, on one level, to criticisms that he preferred to film safe subjects rather than the turmoil of modern India. More specifically, he was recording his own perceptions of the political and cultural chaos of his hometown Calcutta - Maoist revolts coming on top of (perhaps because of) decades of underinvestment, unemployment, cultural stagnation and industrial unrest. Ray took the plot from a novel by a young, rebellious but not too leftist writer and transformed it into a searing portrait of an introspective, sensitive individual trapped in a decaying city that is apparently on the verge of imploding. The hero Siddhartha is no revolutionary (although his younger brother is) but, unlike his sister, he is not eager to sell out to whatever capitalist opportunities there are. Somewhat like an Apu in a world turned upside down, Siddhartha hangs on to his sanity until the very end, when, through an apparently crazy act, he loses everything but might well have saved his soul. Ray ends the film with a virtuouso juxtaposition of a Hindu funeral chant and the song of a mysterious bird that Siddhartha recalls from his childhood. (Non-Bengali viewers of this disc may miss the former because the subtities do not translate it.) This scene has always seemed to me to be one of Ray's greatest achievements. His films, it used to be said, were full of death; he is also often praised for his life-affirming humanism. Here, those two themes fuse magnificently, making Siddhartha the quintessential Ray hero, perhaps even the summing up of all previous Ray heroes, an individual who can find victory in loss and death in success.Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Shantanu Sen on 9 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Set against the city of calcutta in turmoil during the naxalite unrests of the early 70s, an intense film of a young man opposing the circumstances he finds himself in, and trying to come to terms with them at the same time. Brilliant performances by all concerned, set against the backdrop of intense camerawork in black and white, and the old districts of Chowringhee in Calcutta, a memorable film. Ray's characters say so little, yet convey so much! One of Ray's best films, together with "Jana Aranya" (The Middleman)-another masterpeice about an individual's life in the city of Calcutta.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard Brzostek on 28 Nov. 2009
Format: DVD
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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