|AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE (GANASHATRU) (director/writer: Satyajit Ray; screenwriter: from a play by Henrik Ibsen; cinematographer: Barun Raha; editor: Dulai Dutta; music: Satyajit Ray; cast: Soumitra Chatterjee (Dr. Ashok Gupta), Dhritiman Chatterjee (Nishith Gupta), Dipankar Dey (Haridas Bagchi), Mamata Shankar (Indrani Gupta), Manoj Mitra (Adhir), Ruma Guhathakurta (Maya Gupta, doctor's wife), Subhendu Chatterjee (Biresh Guha); Runtime: 99; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: National Film Development Corporation of India; Criterion Eclipse series 40; 1989-India-in Bengali with English subtitles)|
Ray's first film after a heart attack four
years ago, and his doctors insisted it had
to be a studio film. That the film is so
dull can't be blamed on the doctors."
by Dennis Schwartz
Satyajit Ray ("Distant Thunder"/"The
Stranger"/"The Home and The World") updates and
transfers the play "An Enemy of the People" by
Henrik Ibsen to Bengal. It's a tale about
the idealistic Dr. Ashok Gupta (Soumitra
Chatterjee), from the small
town of Chandipur, near Calcutta, who after sending
for a water analysis discovers the recent jaundice
epidemic is caused by the contaminated holy water
from the popular temple, a major tourist attraction.
Instead of applauded for his discovery and his call
for proper health measures be taken seriously that
the temple replace the defective pipes or close, the
ignorant treat him with rancor while the town
leaders fear this news will stop tourists from
coming. As a result his medical career, in the town
he loves, is threatened.
the acting is fine the film weakens Ibsen's play, as
it offers a one-sided debate between the role of
religion, reduced to superstition, and science in
It's Ray's first film after a heart attack four years ago, and his doctors insisted it had to be a studio film. That the film is so dull can't be blamed on the doctors.
REVIEWED ON 3/22/2014 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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