The Coward with The Holy Man

One of Ray's most light-hearted works, The Coward (intended to screen as a double bill with The Holy Man) was intentionally designed as a comic make-weight between more serious fare, but still showcases Ray's consummate craftsmanship and attention to detail. A junior scriptwriter from Calcutta finds himself in a backwater tea plantation looking for “local flavor,” and discovers that his good-natured, frequently drunk host has a gorgeous, extremely intelligent wife, who is also . . . his former lover. Nerves, emotions, alcohol, and more quickly flow as this bizarre love triangle reaches its (un)natural conclusion. “Light in touch, gently humorous, the ironic The Coward is far from complimentary to the male animal” (MoMA).

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