Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This bittersweet story is one of the last two films directed by acclaimed Bengali Satyajit Ray (1921-1992). In the story, Probodh (Haradhan Banerjee) is the very moral and upright 70-year-old patriarch of a family, with four grown sons. His father and one of his sons live at home with him, and his other three sons live elsewhere. When he collapses during a banquet being given in his honor, the sons and their families gather at his bedside at home. There, while their father lies for the most part comatose, only rousing occasionally to deliver cryptic messages, the boys reveal to each other exactly what they've been up to without the sugar coating they've been giving their father. The oldest boy has been embezzling from the company he runs, another one is losing money for fun at the racetrack, and yet another has given up a decent job in order to become an actor. As they quarrel with one another, they are not aware that their father has been taking much of this in. Gradually, the old man recovers, a little wiser perhaps, and certainly sadder.