January 17, 2009

Teen Kanya

Teen Kanya (Three Daughters) 1961

Year - 1961
Producer - Satyajit Ray Productions
Screenplay - Satyajit Ray
Based on - Three short stories: Postmaster, Monihara, and Samapti by Rabindranath Tagore
Photography - Soumendu Roy
Editor - Dulal Dutta
Art Director - Bansi Chandragupta
Music - Satyajit Ray
Sound - Durgadas Mitra
Length - Postmaster 56 min.; Monihara 61 min.; Samapti 56 min.
Print - Black & White

Cast for Postmaster:
Nandalal - Anil Chatterjee
Ratan - Chandana Banerjee
Bisay - Nripati Chatterjee
Khagen - Khagen Pathak
Bilash - Gopal Roy

Newly arrived from Calcutta, Nandalal takes a position as the Postmaster of a tiny rural village in Bengal. He has for his servant Ratan, a young orphan girl. She is illiterate, but he teaches her how to read and write. When Nandalal falls ill, Ratan nurses him back to health. Nonetheless, he dreams of returning to Calcutta. He gets ready to leave, oblivious to how attached to him Ratan has become. The narrative concludes with his departure, in which he is forced to confront his misunderstanding of Ratan's feelings when she snubs him.

Cast for Monihara:
Phanibhusan Saha - Kali Banerjee
Manimalika - Kanika Majumdar
Madhusudhan - Kumar Roy
Schoolmaster and narrator - Gobinda Chakravarty

Near a sumptuous mansion, now abandoned, the village schoolteacher recounts the history of a book he holds in his hand to a man seated on the stairs, concealed under a shawl. It seems that the house was formerly inhabited by a man whose wife had a consuming passion for jewels, which led to their ruin. After having listened to the tale, the man points out some errors in it; his authority comes from the fact that he is the husband's ghost.

Cast for Samapti:
Amulya - Soumitra Chatterjee
Mrinmoyee - Aparna Das Gupta
Jogmaya - Sita Mukherjee
Nistarini - Gita Dey
Kisori - Santosh Dutta
Rakhal - Mihir Chakravarty
Haripada - Devi Neogy

Returning from Calcutta after passing his exams, Amulya spends a few days with his mother, who has arranged for him to marry the daughter of a respectable family. The son resists and, in order to forestall the marriage, suggests a different bride: Mrinmoyee, a mischievous and contrary adolescent girl whose family has lost their home. The mother finally gives in. After a difficult wedding night, Amulya, instead of facing his new circumstances, hastily goes back to Calcutta. Realizing the nature of the situation, his mother pretends to be sick in order to bring him back for a more responsible reunion.

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