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The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khiladi)

The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khiladi) (1978)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0

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Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 967

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Movie Info

Based on a story by Munshi Premchand, and much influenced by Vsevolod Pudovkin's 1925 film Chess Fever, this satirical film by noted Indian director Satyajit Ray is set in colonial India in 1856. The British Resident of the East India Company (Richard Attenborough) has observed that the monarch of Lucknow, which is in his trading region, seems to be completely uninterested in government. He tries to arrange things so that he can annex the province. Embroiled in a long-running chess rivalry, two

Unrated,

Art House & International, Drama

Munshi Premchand

Apr 18, 2006

Creative

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All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (1) | DVD (5)

Ray's film is an incisive dissection of culture shock and class privilege.

August 29, 2006 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The uneven but elegantly told gentle historical film about conflicting cultures has its few moments of brilliance.

March 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Ray's movies are frequently something of an acquired taste, but it's a habit worth acquiring, as this specimen amply demonstrates.

October 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

The slow pace can make it tedious to watch at times, but for Ray, allowances should be made.

August 29, 2006 Full Review Source: BBC.com
BBC.com

Ponderously allegorical and overlong, a major disappointment from director Ray.

August 29, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

combines a comedy of manners with historical drama, as it examines the 1856 British takeover of India

May 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

Its mannered goofiness echoes the pastoral comedy of Days and Nights In the Forest while the Raj-era dancing-girl trappings recall the decidedly grim The Music Room.

April 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

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]
May 23, 2008
Harlequin68
Walter M.

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Foreign Titles

  • Die Schachspieler (DE)
  • The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khilari) (UK)
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