Monday, October 5, 2015

445. Subarnarekha/Golden River (1965)

Running Time: 143 minutes
Directed By: Ritwik Ghatak
Written By: Ritwik Ghatak, from novel by Radheshyam Jhunjhunwala
Main Cast: Abhi Bhattacharya, Madhabi Mukhopadhyay, Bijon Bhattacharya, Satindra Bhattacharya, Indrani Chakraborty

Note: I just wanted to take some time and wish a happy 6oth birthday to my frequent commenter Ray! Actually, just calling him a "frequent commenter" doesn't really cut it anymore. By now, after all these years of talking cinematic shop with him, I think I can consider him a friend. So here's to you Ray! I hope you're 60th birthday was the best one yet. I look forward to plenty more years of agreeing and disagreeing with you (always respectfully, of course) about film. Thank you for all the time & effort you put into making well thought out and poignant comments. They will forever be appreciated!


At what point do I officially get "down to the nitty gritty"? I think considering the fact that we started with 1001, I feel like we're steeped in nitty and gritty by now. Anyway, I'm moving right along, trying to finish up before too much longer. Tonight I took in my first Ritwik Ghatak film, "Subarnarekha".

Okay, so I can't really do plot synopsis today because the copy that I watched had some faulty subtitles and unfortunately, the subs cut out at a few crucial moments. What I was able to gather, is that there was a father & daughter who were separated from their wife/mother, when the daughter was very young. The two are housed in a "colony", where they make the most of things in uncertain times. The father ends up adopting another young child, a boy named Abriham. When they grow up, Abriham and Sita (the biological daughter) fall in love. Of course, the father is totally against this. I feel like a lot of the events of the time period were totally lost on me, not only because of the faulty subs, but because they'd be lost on me anyway. I'm not very astute when it comes to historical elements, as we've learned, right?

Yeah, I didn't care for this at all. I didn't expect to either. In fact, for about a month now, I've been dreading this and The Cloud Capped Star like the plague, as they're both over two hours and 1950s Indian cinema, which for some reason I was mentally comparing to the Apu trilogy (which I also disliked). Although, I think if I'd had a working set of subtitles, I could've at least gotten into it a little better. As it is, I would kind of tune out for the minutes where I was unable to know what was being said and of course, that effected by viewing of the rest of the picture.

I just can't get into old, Indian cinema, be it this or the Satyajit Ray stuff (see The Music Room, in addition to "Apu"). This sort of resembled very early Bollywood cinema, as it even had traces of singing and featured the kind of plot I'd expect to see in a flashy Bollywood piece (girl falls in love with her half-brother, vice versa - that screams Bollywood, doesn't it?). I will say this too, the girl who played Sita as an adult - Madhabi Mukhopadhyay - was gorgeous and I wouldn't be opposed of seeing more of her.

RATING: 2/10 I'm probably being too harsh and perhaps even with working subs, I just wasn't in the mood. But let's be honest, this was never going to be on my favorites list.


October 5, 2015  11:20pm


  1. OOhhh thank you!
    And that explains a bit of a gap in replies.. First, a friend booked us a short away break to Dublin for 3 nights as a Birthday present .. then I booked my own Youth Hostel for a bit of a celebration.. So very busy .. then very tired!

    And you have let Amanda know which birthday it is as well! (She asked, and I was being cagy with her..)

    But enough .. we are here to talk film...And here I let you down after that build up .. No "well thought out and poignant comments" for this one I'm afraid.
    It was .. OK. I think I'm a little more into Indian cinema than you are .. a bit reserved perhaps. I have found Satyajit Ray's films (mostly) beautiful, but rather dated and predictable.. and this one pretty much the same. It passed my time pleasantly, but sadly no more than that.

    1. You're welcome. Sounds like you had a good birthday and I'm glad to hear it! Sorry for letting the cat out of the bag with Amanda...

      Yes, I just can't get into old Indian cinema, though I definitely can get interested in Bollywood, despite the predictability.


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