Satyajit Ray’s ‘The Hero’ Revisited

The train, in which nearly all the action takes place, is a hive of designs. The compartments frame a latticework of plots as intricate as anything in Graham Greene’s novel Stamboul Train. Almost everyone has a scheme and almost every character, in this film about acting, is more than ready to pretend to be something that he or she is not. Everyone, essentially, is reflecting back the movie star’s concern about how much selling yourself to the Devil may, in fact, be the right and selfless thing to do, if it can offer those who are suffering a respite from their plight. The result is a festival of ironies.

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