Chess Players

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Product Overview



Studio Kino Video
SKU 202287443
UPC 738329040826
UPC 14 00738329040826
Format DVD
Release Date 4/18/2006
Editors Note
Note Based on a short-story by the renowned Hindi writer Premchand, and directed by Indian film master Satyajit Ray, THE CHESS PLAYERS tells the story of the independent Indian kingdom of Awadh--ruled by the art- and music-loving King Wajid Ali Shah--that becomes threatened with the colonial aspirations of the British Empire and the devious machinations of a British General (Sir Richard Attenborough, JURASSIC PARK) eager to annex the kingdom. ^Meanwhile, two wealthy landowners, Mirza and Mir become obsessively involved in their endless chess games, seemingly oblivious to the chess-like moves being made all around them. Mirza and Mir come to represent the weakness and apathy of the Indian people (the film was made in 1977 during a major democratic crisis in modern India) as they ignore not only the political activity surrounding them, but also the sexual dissatisfaction of their wives, who both find new lovers. Using exquisite performances, and a perfectionist's eye for detail, Ray conjures a historical epic and tells a strange tale of a self-involved and emasculated people in danger of losing everything. As is frequently the case in the films of Satyajit Ray, there are no villains and there are no heroes, only meticulously imagined pawns in a grand historical and sociological game.
Entertainment Weekly "Director Satyajit Ray takes on India's colonial past in a refined satire about an ambitious British general..." -- Grade: B 04/21/2006 p.63
New York Times "Ray's first historical epic and a surprisingly adventurous film, one that breaks with the naturalism of his early work and imposes an explicitly allegorical structure." 04/18/2006 p.E3
Uncut 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] sophisticated, wise and trenchant entertainment." 09/01/2007 p.122
Sight and Sound "Ray's visually sumptuous, astute and surprisingly comic drama examines the British takeover of the Indian kingdom of Oudh in 1856..." 10/01/2007 p.85
Satyajit Ray
Saeed Jaffrey
Richard Attenborough
Cast & Crew
Dulal Dutta - Editor
Farida Jalal - Actor
Saeed Jaffrey - Actor
Sanjeev Kumar - Actor
Satyajit Ray - Original Music By
Satyajit Ray - Director
Shabana Azmi - Actor
Shama Zaidi - Writer
Soumendu Roy - Cinematographer
Suresh Jindal - Producer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1977
UPC 00738329040826
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 115 minutes
Color Color
Original Language Urdu
Available Subtitles English
Available Audio Tracks Urdu
Aspect Ratio
Standard  1.33:1 [4:3]
ReviewSource BBC Films Review
Review The slow pace can make it tedious to watch at times, but for Ray, allowances should be made. It is the work of a master, and therefore demands your full attention.
Reviewer Sandy Chaitram
ReviewRating 8
DVD, Aspect Ratio 1.33:1, English, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor Kumar,Sanjeev
Label Kino International
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
George Lucas, Star Wars Director [Ray is an] extraordinary filmmaker...
Sandy Chaitram, BBC Films Review Ray's historical drama offers a vision of a troubled India steeped in apathy
The London Observer One of (Satyajit) Ray's finest achievements, the work of a master film-maker.

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