|THE KINGDOM OF DIAMONDS (HIRAK RAJAR DESHE) TV (director/writer: Satyajit Ray; screenwriter: story by Satyajit Ray; cinematographer: Soumendu Roy; editor: Dulal Dutta; music: Satyajit Ray; cast: Soumitra Chatterji (Pondit Moshai Udayan), Utpal Dutt (Hirak Raja, the Diamond King), Robi Ghosh (Bagha Bayen), Santash Dutta (King of Shundi /Scientist), Promode Ganguli (Udayan's Father), Tapen Chattopadhyay (Goopy Gayen), Ajoy Banerjee (Comedian); Runtime: 118; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Mrs. Sarbani Bhattacharya; Angel; 1980-India-in Bengali with English subtitles)|
|"It's a competently made
fairy-tale film, but it's the kind of film
perhaps any good director could have made
did not need a great one."
by Dennis Schwartz
Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray ("Sadgati"/"The
Golden Fortress") has written the story and
directs with vigor this sequel to the Adventures of
Goopy and Bagha film, which was also made for TV in
India. It's an appealing
children's film told with bouncy music and lush
visuals, and is about an evil king being overthrown by
the subjects he oppressed.
(Robi Ghosh) and Goopy (Tapen
Chattopadhyay) are the fun-loving
son-in-laws of the good king of Shundi (Santash
Dutta), and have acquired from him magical
powers, exercised through their singing and magical
shoes (they can become invisible and go anywhere, even
through walls). After ten years in the kingdom, the
two are restless and the King sends them on an
official state visit to a faraway region of diamond
mines, whose wealthy ruler is known as The Diamond
King, Hirak Raja (Utpal
Dutt). Because of his PR, the outside
world doesn't know he's a tyrant.
their journey the singing duo encounter the region's
idealistic school teacher,
Chatterji), hiding in a cave, and
are told by him that the despot king has made
everyone a slave to his wishes and that his magician
(Santash Dutta, in a dual role)
used a machine he invented to brainwash
those revolting by making them submit to authority
by now praising the king for his kindness and
calling him a God. Hirak has also closed the only
school, fearful that those educated would never
accept his cruel rule. The teacher fears if he's
caught by the king's obedient and ruthless army, he
will also be brainwashed. The three team up. Goopy
and Bagha are aided by their magical powers and sing
for the King, while the inspiring and brave Udayan
leads a successful revolution of the people, the
miners, laborers, farmers and school children. After
their brainwashing is ended and they are returned to
normal, the people dethrone the king and also alter
the behavior of the king's parasitic 'yes man'
cabinet of advisers. It ends with the entire region,
including Hirak, pulling down by rope the king's
giant statue at the mines.
a competently made fairy-tale film, but it's the
kind of film perhaps any good director could have
made and did not need a great one. It should be
noted that Ray wrote most of the songs sung by Bagha
and Goopy, who energetically play the lyre while
singing and dancing.
pic, even though not a masterpiece, was one of Ray's
biggest commercial hits.
REVIEWED ON 3/9/2014 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ