Satyajit Ray’s “Parash Pathar-The Philosopher Stone” is an entertaining fantasy fable that depicts the events in the life of a middle class clerk when he comes into the possession of a stone that can turn any metal into gold.
Tulsi Chakrabarti is just about perfect as the old man who is hurled into several out-of-his control circumstances. Satyajit Ray extracts a ‘musical’ kind of performance from him and his overplay of vacillating soul fits brilliantly into the what-if theme of the film. Apart from the physical resemblance, this portrayal could be the reason one is reminded of the character of ‘Goblin’ from ‘The Lord of the Rings” ( both physical and behavioral aspects).
While there are several scenes that are note worthy, the lead scenes to the climax and the climax, are probably the best, as they deliver a resolution that you would least expect.
A must watch for anyone who is interested in a simple story, well told, without too many ‘twists’ in the name of screenplay. Sometimes a simple linear three act structure is all it takes when you have a good story and a great director.
DVD is available in the market (which I bought) but the quality is a lot to be desired.
Here’s an Youtube upload without subtitles that just about does it.