Kapurush - O - Mahapurush (The Coward & The Holy Man)
1965, India. A double bill. Kapurush (The Coward): 74 min.; Mahapurush (The Holy Man): 65min. B/W, In Bengali with subtitles
Kapurush (The Coward)
Amitabha Roy (Soumitra Chatterjee) is a Calcutta based scriptwriter who is driving around in the country to collect material for a film. His vehicle breaks down in a small town. A tea planter, Bimal Gupta, offers hospitality for the night. Amitabha is forced to accept the offer as he has no alternative.
At Gupta’s house, he is introduced to his wife Karuna (Madhabi Mukherjee). Amitabha is shocked to find her to be the girl he once loved and had let down. Unaware of their past relationship, Gupta entertains Amitabha. He comes across as a simple man with none of the physical or intellectual charms of Roy.
Amitabha manages to steal a few moments alone with Karuna. He conveys to her about his love and asks her to leave her husband. Karuna hides her own feelings. Unable to regain the old intimacy with her, he remembers his betrayal. It was the last time he saw her. Forced by her uncle who did not approve of the relationship and wanted to send her away, She came to him. Even though Roy was a poor student, she had made up her mind to accept his situation and confront her family’s disapproval. Roy, however, proved to be a coward. Now that he is a successful man, Amitabha asks Karuna to leave her husband for him. Karuna, however, does or says a little to encourage him.
The next morning, Amitabha decides to take the train instead of waiting for the vehicle to be repaired. He writes note to Karuna, requesting her to meet him at the railway station if she still cared for him.
Amitabha waits for Karuna at the station. Karuna does arrive but only to snub him before going back to her husband.
Mahapurush (The Holy Man)
After the death of his wife, Gurupada Mitter (Prasad Mukherjee), an advocate, has not been at peace. He and his daughter Buchki (Gitali Roy), meet Birinchi (Charuprakash Ghosh). Birinchi Baba claims to be ageless. He tells stories from the past; about his arguments with ‘Pluto’ about time, how he taught E=mc2 to Einstein, and was on first-name terms with Jesu (Christ) and Gautam (Buddha). Birinchi Baba has a growing band of rich devotees.
Gurupada decides to patronize the holy man and become his disciple. Daughter Buchki is disappointed with her lover Satya. To teach him a lesson, she tells Satya that she is going to leave him and become a disciple of Birinchi Baba.
Satya turns to his friend Nibaran for his help. It does not take Nibaran long to realize that Birinchi Baba is a fraud. Nibaran and friends expose Birinchi Baba. The devotees feel foolish and perhaps have learnt a lesson.
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|Producer:||RDB & Co (R.D. Bansal / (RDB Productions)|
|Screenplay & Direction:||Satyajit Ray, Based on the short stories: ‘Janaiko Kapuruser Kahini’ by Premendra Mitra (The Coward) and ‘Birinchibaba’ by Parashuram (The Holy Man)|
|Art Direction:||Bansi Chandragupta|
|Sound:||Nripen Pal, Atul Chatterjee, Sujit Sarkar|
|Amitabha Roy:||Soumitra Chatterjee|
|Bimal Gupta:||Haradhan Bannerjee|
|Karuna Gupta:||Madhabi Mukherjee|
|Birinchi Baba:||Charuprakash Ghosh|
|His assistant:||Rabi Ghosh|
|Gurupada Mitter:||Prasad Mukherjee|
|Professor Nani:||Santosh Dutta|
|Professor’s wife:||Renuka Roy|