Aranyer Din Ratri (1970)

 ●  Bengali ● 1 hr 55 mins

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Four young male Bengali urban stereotypes leave Calcutta for a holiday in the forest of Palamau, Bihar: the suave executive and former political activist Ashim (Soumitra Chatterjee), the middle-class Sanjoy (Subhendu Chatterjee), the sportsman Hari (Bhanja) and the insecure comedian Sekhar (Ghosh). They bribe a caretaker and hire a government bungalow in the forest where they meet the sophisticated Aparna (Tagore) and her widowed sister-in-law, Jaya (Bose). Completing the ensemble is the sexy Santhal tribal Duli (Garewal). The film moves in a series of episodes as Ashim falls for Aparna and then has some embarassing encounters which shake his patriarchal attitudes. The climactic sequence takes place at a village fair as the group splits up into couples: Hari seduces the tribal woman, Sanjoy is unable to accept Jaya’s overtures, Aparna’s tragic autobiography causes Ashim to replay some of the anxieties of his predecessors in previous Chatterjee roles in Ray’s films (cf. Charulata, 1964; Kapurush, 1965). The many references to Bengali literature, colonial history and recent political events provide the viewer with an array of clues to some pervasive but unspoken off- screen enigma which has taken the place of the ‘crime’ which usually powers this type of plot. This use of a suggested trauma, indirectly shaping the lives of the characters as they try not to deal with it, was taken up by other Bengali New Indian Cinema directors(cf. B. Dasgupta’s work) to deal with middle- class ambivalence and guilt in the face of the political events of the 70s (cf. Naxalite). It also informed Ray’s own Calcutta trilogy, begun shortly after this film.
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Aparna Sen, Kaberi Bose, Sharmila Tagore, Soumitra Chatterjee

Crew: Satyajit Ray (Director), Soumendu Roy (Director of Photography), Satyajit Ray (Music Director)

Genres: Drama

Release Dates: 16 Jan 1970 (India)

Bengali Name: অরণ্যের দিন রাত্রি

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as Hari's Former Lover
as Jaya
as Aparna
as Hari
as Duli

Direction

Director

Writers

Screenplay Writer
Story Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography

Music

Music Director

Art

Production Designer
Art Director

Editorial

Editor
Film Type:
Feature Film
Language:
Bengali
Colour Info:
Black & White
Sound Mix:
Mono
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
Stereoscopy:
No
Movie Connection(s):
Referenced in: Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (Hindi)
Followed by: Abar Aranye (Bengali)