This transplant of Ibsen's play to present-day Bengal, with Soumitra Chatterjee as the doctor foiled by vested interests in his fight to secure a costly overhaul of the town's polluted water supply, has to get everyone's sympathy vote: it was Ray's first movie since his heart attack, and doctor's orders limited him to a studio shoot. Sadly, the film needs all the sympathy it can get. Ray's own script remains locked in a 19th century sense of 'dramatics', reducing the characters to mouthpieces for positions, and the plot to a thin and unconvincing set of political manoeuvres. The actors struggle gamely to breathe life into it, but their efforts are hopeless. And the ludicrously optimistic ending is blatantly imposed from above; nothing in the preceeding 95 minutes earns or justifies it.