The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khiladi) (1978)
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as Gen. Outram
as Nawab Wazed Ali Shah
as Mirza Saljad Ali
as Mir Roshan Ali
as Mirza's Wife
as Mir's Wife
as Prime Minister
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Critic Reviews for The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khiladi)
Ray's film is an incisive dissection of culture shock and class privilege.
The uneven but elegantly told gentle historical film about conflicting cultures has its few moments of brilliance.
Ray's movies are frequently something of an acquired taste, but it's a habit worth acquiring, as this specimen amply demonstrates.
Audience Reviews for The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khiladi)
[font=Century Gothic]With an ending that subtly turns everything on its head, "The Chess Players" is a breezy movie about the serious subject of imperialism. It is 1856 in India where two incredibly wealthy men, Mirza(Sanjeev Kumar) and Mir(Saeed Jaffrey), are obsessed with the game of chess, playing every chance they get and ignoring everything else in their lives, especially Mirza's wife(Shabana Azmi), who is frustrated in more ways than one.(Remember this takes place in the days before video games but the sentiment is the same.) One of the things they are currently ignoring is the local political situation which involves an English general, Outram(Richard Attenborough), playing a real life game of chess. The British government having swallowed up every other piece of India, now has its eyes on the kingdom of Oudh, ruled over by King Wajid(Amjad Khan), which it has long extorted funds from.[/font]
My first film by Satyajit Ray. I was impressed. Excellent director. The story is interesting and funny, even if you know nothing about chess. If you love chess it's a must. Two men play chess all day to the exclusion of everything. When their beautiful chess pieces are stolen they find a way to continue playing. Marvelous twists and turns in the story kept me wondering what was coming next. I'll watch another film by this director anytime.
Excellent film full of humour and understatement. I don't think I've seen the past presented so naturally in a film. Everything is perfect.
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