January 9, 2009

Jana Aranya

Jana Aranya (The Middle Man) 1975

Year - 1975
Producer - Indus Films (Subir Guha)
Screenplay - Satyajit Ray
Based on - The novel Jana Aranya by Mani Shankar Mukherjee
Photography - Soumendu Roy
Editor - Dulal Dutta
Art Director - Ashoke Bose
Music - Satyajit Ray
Sound - J. D. Irani, Anil Talukdar, Adinath Nag, Sujit Ghosh
Length - 131 min.
Print - Black & White

Cast:
Somnath Banerjee - Pradip Mukherjee
Somnath's father - Satya Banerjee
Bhombol - Dipankar Dey
Kamala - Lily Chakravarty
Somnath's girl friend - Aparna Sen
Sukumar - Gautam Chakravarty
Kauna/Juthika - Sudesna Das
Bisu - Utpal Dutta
Mr. Mitter - Rabi Ghosh
Ashok - Bimal Chatterjee
Mrs. Ganguli - Arati Banerjee
Mrs. Biswas - Padma Devi
Goenka - Soven Lahiri
Hiralal - Santosh Dutta
Jagabandhu, MLA/MP - Bimal Deb
Pimp - Ajeya Mukherjee
Mr. Baksi - Kalyan Sen
Fakirchand - Alokendu Dey

Somnath, a student, ends up absurdly failing his exams when the grader, without his glasses, is unable to decipher his miniscule writing. He gives up his studies, looks for a job, and decides to launch himself on a career in business. He becomes an independent salesman, paid on commission, to the great despair of his father, a descendant of a noble caste who considers engaging in commerce to be supremely disgraceful to the family reputation. As part of his business dealings, Somnath discovers the expedient value of corrupt practices. After lengthy hesitation, he agrees to provide a prostitute who is none other than the sister of his best friend from school in order to obtain a contract. He says nothing about all this to his father, who may to some extent only be pretending to be ignorant of what is being concealed from him.

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