Kanchenjungha (1962)

Kanchenjungha
Directed by Satyajit Ray
Written by Satyajit Ray
1962/India
NCA Productions
First viewing/YouTube

[on whether or not he is a humanist] Not really. I can’t think of being anything else but what is represented by my films. I am not conscious of being a humanist. It’s simply that I am interested in human beings. I would imagine that everyone who makes a film is to some extent interested in human beings… I’m slightly irritated (laughs) by this constant reference to humanism in my work – I feel that there are other elements also. It’s not just about human beings. It’s also a structure, a form, a rhythm, a face, a temple, a feeling for light and shade, composition, and a way of telling a story. — Satyajit Ray

I can’t imagine not liking a film by Satyajit Ray.  I liked his first color film but doubt that I will remember it long.

Wealthy Bengalis vacation in the hill town of Darjeeling in Kashmir.  It is a romantic location and the story concerns three potential romances. The central story concerns Monisha.   Her wealthy father is trying to arrange her marriage with a business man.  Her mother is worried and wants Monisha to decide for herself.  It is clear fairly early on that the self-absorbed and boring intended fiance is not the proper match for the beautiful, sensitive English major.  She strikes up a friendship with an unemployed man of about her age.

There is a side story about the attempts of an unfaithful actress to reconcile with her husband.  My favorite part, naturally, was a minor character who spends his time bird watching and his explanation of his love of birds.

This is quite OK.  If it had focused on just one story it probably would have had more impact.  The color on the YouTube video had lost much of its saturation.

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