The Middleman (1976)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

Original title:  Jana Aranya

India, 1976.  .  Screenplay by Satyajit Ray, based on a novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by Satyajit Ray.  Production Design by .  Film Editing by .

This less-remembered film by Satyajit Ray is an enjoyable morality tale. A young man graduates college but soon becomes feckless as finding a career path becomes impossible. Exasperated, he is goaded by his family into taking a position as a business middleman for a merchant, but the moral corruption involved in succeeding with sales is more than he bargained for and he begins to grasp (lightly) with the effect it will have on his soul. Ray couldn’t have made a forgettable film if he’d put all his energy into it, so even the less spectacular entries in his oeuvre are worth your time (visually if for no other reason), but I wouldn’t suggest reaching for this one first if you’re only at the beginning of discovering his artistry.

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