Days and Nights in the Forest Review

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Four young middle class men from Calcutta set out to spend a weekend in the country. But once they enter the forest, they encounter a group of young women who challenge their big city ideas and offer another perspective on life.


Having been accused by Indian critics of ignoring the socio-political plight of the sub-continent, Satyajit Ray responded with typical humanist sagacity in this wryly satirical, gloriously literate, but deceptively discerning alfresco chamber play.

Each member of the young Calcutta quartet that heads off for a little R&R is a bourgeois stereotype, while each of the three women they encounter in a series of misadventures provides a calculated counterbalance to their big city amorality. It's amazing just how much Ray manages to say about creeping Westernisation and patriarchal complacency. But that was the lesson he learned from his master, Jean Renoir.

Packed with cultural references and sly satire, this is also a hugely entertaining comic romp.