January 17, 2009


Chiriakhana (The Zoo) 1967

Year - 1967
Producer - Star Productions
Screenplay - Satyajit Ray
Based on - The novel Chiriakhana by Saradindu Banerjee
Photography - Soumendu Roy
Editor - Dulal Dutta
Art Director - Bansi Chandragupta
Music - Satyajit Ray
Sound - Nripen Paul, Atul Chatterjee, Sujit Sarkar
Length - 137 min.
Print - Black & White

Byomkesh Bakshi - Uttam Kumar
Ajit - Sailen Mukherjee
Nisanath Sen - Susil Majumdar
Damyanti - Kanika Majumdar
Bijoy - Subhendu Chatterjee
Doctor Bhujangadhar Das - Syamal Ghosal
Nepal Gupta - Prasad Mukherjee
Mukul - Supira Roy
Muskil Mia - Nripati Chatterjee
Nazarbibi - Subrata Chatterjee
Banalakshmi - Gitali Roy
Rakiklal - Kalipada Chakravarty
Panugopal - Chinmoy Roy
Jahar Ganguli - Ramen Mullick
Bankim Ghosh - Brajadas
Inspector - Nilatpal Dey

Ray made this film, like Abhijan before this to his assistants who conceived of the initial idea. He had almost no input in the choice of the story and casting. However he agreed to direct the film when the producers insisted on inclusion of Ray himself.
The director of a retirement home calls in a private detective, Byomkesh, to investigate one of his residents, a former film star. While delivering some new information on the phone, the director is assassinated. A deaf-mute is a witness. He is killed in turn when he writes down what he has seen.
Ray, though pleased with the final result, was aware that "the vital clue is a matter of semantics which is untranslatable." In addition he thought it might be too subtle and introspective for the wider audiences. "Certainly not for Bond-addicts!" he said. Therefore it is not surprising that few have seen this film outside Bengal.

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