The story of the film starts in 1969 and deals with Ritwik Ghatak's time spent in a mental asylum. It shows Nilkantha being admitted to mental asylum under the supervision of Doctor S. P. Mukherjee. S. P. Mukherjee learns that the Prime Minister of India knows Nilkantha and is fond of his works and may request the hospital authority to take special care of him. In the hospital a police officer sees Nilkantha and tells Doctor Mukherjee that he is a wasted drunkard. Another patient of hospital mocks Nilkantha as "disgraced intellectual". Even he was undergoing treatment in the hospitals, he writes a play and stages it with other asylum patients.
The film shows how Durga (Nilkantha's wife) wants to leave him saying "separation is essential". Nilkantha witnessed partition of Bengal and its devastating effect and in his youth became attracted towards communism. Throughout the film Nilkantha's mental agony, struggles, inner contradictions, disappointments as well as financial troubles faced by him are shown. He clearly tells, it is not possible for him to make entertaining or commercial films. During a discussion Nilkantha asks Doctor Mukherjee that should a man perfomr mujra at a time when the society is burning? He also tells Doctor Mukherjee that he is a "people's artist" and that is his job.
The film also shows the atmosphere of Bengal during Tebhaga and Naxalite movements. A scene has been shown in the film where a book named "How to be a good communist?" is burning. This scene symbolises Ghatak's dissatisfaction with India's communist politics. When Durga tells Nilkantha that they don't have a single rupee to run the family, Nilkantha readily replies, it is not money but it is one's work which will remain forever.