The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khilari)


(out of 5)

The principality of Oudh stands alone in 19th century India for having avoided British rule following the creation of a long-standing treaty that is now under threat. General Outram () seeks to add to his exploits by putting the land under his control, and director Satyajit Ray laments on just how easy this is to accomplish. While the King remains secluded in his palace enjoying the comforts of his throne, two Generals represent the leading citizens of the country by avoiding all matter of serious political involvement and obsessing over daily games of chess. Not one to point fingers, Ray tells this gorgeously wrought story with healthy doses of humour and pathos, eliciting exquisite performances from the entire cast and photographing it with his usual mesmerizing beauty. Like many of his later films, the pace is somewhat sluggish, mired down in scenes of seemingly endless dialogue, but it is intelligent dialogue that you’ll get much out of if you’re in the right frame of mind. Another example of how Ray is one of cinema history’s most skilled artists.

India, 1977

Directed by 

Screenplay by Satyajit Ray, dialogue by Satyajit Ray, , , from a story by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by Satyajit Ray

Production Design by

Costume Design by , Shama Zaidi

Film Editing by

Film Festivals:  


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s