The Philosopher’s Stone (1958)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

Original title:  Parash Pathar

India, 1958Aurora, L.B.Films International.  Dialogue and Screenplay by Satyajit Ray, based on a story by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Promod Lahiri.  Music by Satyajit Ray, .  Production Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Lighthearted caprice from Satyajit Ray, about a low-level bank clerk who stumbles upon a magical stone that turns any metal it touches into gold.  Before long he is a local fatcat with an enormous fortune, but all is not as it appears; his bills are also piling up and his wife is disappointed that they don’t enjoy their lives more, particularly in order to travel to places she has always dreamed of seeing.  When our hero displays his new money gaucheness at a party, getting drunk and showing off for the appalled guests, his revelation of his talent inspires the jealousy of a rival who gets him into trouble with the law.  Ray’s touch is too delicate for this charming morality tale to ever come across as didactic or heavy, instead displaying its investigation of human folly with a gentle level of reproach and presenting the end result with relief and generosity.

Cannes Film Festival:  In Competition

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