indian cinema heritage foundation

Padatik (1973)

  • GenreDrama
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageBengali
  • Gauge35 mm

A young Calcuttan, politically engaged, escapes from the prison van and goes into hiding. He finds a shelter in a quiet flat in an upper-calss locality. The flat is owned by a young woman who is comfortably placed in an advertising agency. Both of them, the man and the woman, have more than one secret to preserve, the man for political considerations and the woman for reasons as gradually revealed in the story. 

She has run away from her husband. She now lives alone in an otherwise male-dominated society and, understandably, lives within a shell. And since he is a fugitive, he is forced to live an ambarassing life of confinement. Both of them are rebels, she on social level adn he on plitical ground. Both are bitter about many things.

In the desperate moments of his solitary confinement he looks back and realises that he and his fellow-travellers are isolated from the mainstream of life. Not everything, therefore, is perfect on this side of the world; one needs to check and double-check one's inspiration. The fugitive engages himself in self-crticism and, in the process, questions the leadership. the leader who expects his cadre to obey and not to question is displeased. The displeasure thus caused leads to bitterness, bitterness to total rift. But the fugitive, instead getting demoralised, collects enough of courage and political understanding to combat what he calls aberrations. 

She, for one keeps herself at a respectable distance and tries to understand him; they exchange words and even ideas. They come closer to each other, they know each other better. 

Outside, for obvious reasons, the political scene shows gradual disintegration. The father meets the son in another moment of their desperation. Once a freedom fighter, the father, standing shorn of all prejudices, has known to keep on fighting. The fight is endless, says the father, the fight is to build a new society. 

The father and the son part. And the struggle continues, within and without. 

(Taken from the official press booklet)

The film won the National Award for Best Screenplay.