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Days And Nights In The Forest review

Mid-period Satyajit Ray, and one of the Bengali director's most graceful, tender and - vitally - amusing films.

Four young middle-class men from Calcutta travel to the forest of Palamu, where they bribe an elderly caretaker to let them stay in a government rest-house. Hari (Samit Bhanja) is attracted to a local woman (Simi Garewal), while Ashim (Soumitra Chatterjee) and Sanjoy (Subhendu Chatterjee) befriend two respectable ladies staying at a nearby cottage. Only the live-wire Sekhar (Robi Ghosh) remains alone, happy to gamble at the village fair...

Days And Nights In The Forest succeeds as both a compassionate, amusing character study and as a subtly probing exploration of modern India: the gulfs between rich and poor, city and country, class and caste. It unfolds at a gratifyingly unhurried tempo, is masterfully shot, structured and acted, and is sure to linger due to its evocative tone and images.

Maybe Ray's masterpiece; certainly an outstanding work of humanist cinema.

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