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
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.
The slow pace can make it tedious to watch at times, but for Ray, allowances should be made.
Ponderously allegorical and overlong, a major disappointment from director Ray.
Audience Reviews for The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khiladi)
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.
The more political Ray's films get, the less interesting they are. The story is engaging when it focuses on the main characters, not so much when it cuts away to Attenborough and the king. I would have preferred a simple comedy about the chess players, with information about the political climate being subtlely gleaned from the outside world. The allegorical stuff is really ham-fisted. The narration is unnecessary, and at times makes the film feel like an educational reel.
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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