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578 Ratings

The Chess Players

Shatranj Ke Khilari

Directed by Satyajit Ray
India, 1977
Comedy, Drama, History


General Outram declares British rule over the kingdom of Oudh in Lucknow and demands that the king, who has shown no interest in the affairs of state, abdicate. Meanwhile, two noblemen meet for a game of chess, neglecting their families and the momentous political occasion engulfing their state.

Our take

Made during an era of press censorship in India, The Chess Players is a self-described “contemplative though unsparing” drama that examined the country’s future through its past. An exquisite satire from one of world cinema’s most beloved masters: Satyajit Ray.

The Chess Players Directed by Satyajit Ray

Critics reviews

Ray plays all his cards face up, and, hence, he neither cheats nor surprises us. His preparation is very slow, but his payoff is all the richer for his patience.
May 22, 1978
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