Seemabadhha(Company Limited) of Ray is Ranjan's recommendation this week
‘All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries of mankind’, an elderly Tamilian colleague quotes from Joseph Conrad to Shyamalendu who works as a manager of a British firm in Calcutta. Faced with a technical crisis that could hamper the company’s reputation and his personal prospects, Shyamalendu engineers a strike with the help of a labour leader in which a worker is almost killed in an orchestrated bomb blast – but a remorseless Shyamalendu is able to save the day and rise up the corporate ladder…
Displaying all the hallmarks of the master’s oeuvre, Satyajit Ray’s take on corporate culture, greed, and rat race is as relevant today as it was 51 years ago when the film was released. Unlike most of his other city films, Ray explores a glitzy layer of the metropolis. Of special mention are the performances: Barun Chanda, a Ray find as the 'boxwallah' – an elite corporate executive; Paromita Chowdhury as his daft, sensuous wife; and Sharmila Tagore, the protagonist’s idealistic sister-in-law who acts as a moral touchstone to his ruthless ambition. Harindranath Chattopadhyay in a cameo is brilliant. This is one of Ray’s finest films and forms the second of the master’s Calcutta Trilogy – the other two being Pratidwandi (The Adversary, 1970) and Jana Aranya (The Middleman, 1975).
Look it up on Amazon Prime Video.
Ranjan Das is Mumbai based filmmaker & faculty.