Tim Purtell
April 14, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Chess Players

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
runtime
129 minutes
performer
Sanjeev Kumar, Saeed Jaffrey
director
Satyajit Ray
author
Satyajit Ray
genre
Foreign Language

We gave it a B

Director Satyajit Ray takes on India’s colonial past in a refined satire about an ambitious British general (Richard Attenborough) with designs on a politically naive king’s realm. Emphasizing that the fate of many is often decided by a few, Ray focuses on a handful of characters, one greedy, the rest mostly foolish, particularly the affectionately observed chess players (Sanjeev Kumar and Saeed Jaffrey), so obsessed with a game that they’re oblivious to the impending upheaval. Unlike the director’s emotionally rich Apu Trilogy, The Chess Players is more admirable than stirring. EXTRAS A list of Ray’s films and a poster.

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