Satyajit Rays The Hero Revisited
March 01, 2018  14:05
"The film is anchored at every moment in Uttam Kumar's performance, and to me it's an astonishment. Everything about his soft hands as the film begins, his designer socks in two-tone shoes, his baby-faced insouciance, gives us a sense of spoiled entitlement; here is a man who thinks nothing of decorating his home with large, framed glossies of himself. Yet the beauty of Kumar's Arindam Mukherjee is that he has the capacity to surprise us, again and again. He can be witty and charming and kind. As Ray and Kumar push beneath the leading man's smooth surfaces, we expect, perhaps, demons and sleepless nights; but we may not be prepared for such grace. The professional hero, after boarding the train, helps an old man open a bottle and is patient with an elderly scold who dislikes all "talkies"; he even uses a glossy picture of himself as an instrument of compassion to heal an ailing child. Maybe because she's the rare soul who doesn't need him to be anything other than what he is."

Pico Iyer on Satyajit Ray's masterpiece, Nayak. Do read
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