Kapurush (Bengali: কাপুরুষ) or in English, The Coward, is a 1965 film directed by Satyajit Ray.

DVD cover for Kapurush
DVD cover for Kapurush
Directed bySatyajit Ray
Produced byR. D. Bansal and Co.
Screenplay bySatyajit Ray
Based onJanaiko Kapuruser Kahini
by Premendra Mitra
StarringSoumitra Chatterjee
Madhabi Mukherjee
Haradhan Bandopadhyay
Music bySatyajit Ray
CinematographySoumendu Roy
Edited byDulal Dutta
Release date
  • 7 May 1965 (1965-05-07)
Running time
74 min.


Amitabha Roy (Soumitra Chatterjee) is a Calcutta-based scriptwriter who is driving around in the country to collect material for a film. His vehicle breaks down in a small town. A tea planter, Bimal Gupta (Haradhan Bandopadhyay), offers hospitality for the night. Amitabha is forced to accept the offer as he has no alternative.

At Gupta's house, he is introduced to his wife Karuna (Madhabi Mukherjee). Amitabha is shocked to find her to be the girl he once loved and had let down. Unaware of their past relationship, Gupta entertains Amitabha. He comes across as a simple man with none of the physical or intellectual charms of Roy.

Amitabha feels uneasy around Karuna and is unable to sleep. He asks for sleeping pills from Karuna, and manages to steal a few moments alone with Karuna. He communicates his love to her and asks her to leave her husband. Karuna refuses to answer his inquiries as to whether she is happy in her marriage. Unable to regain the old intimacy with her, he remembers his betrayal. It was the last time he saw her. Forced by her uncle who did not approve of the relationship and wanted to send her away, she came to him. Even though he was a poor student, she had made up her mind to accept his situation and surrender her comfortable life, educational plans and family relationships all to marry him. He, however, proved to be a coward, unwilling to make such a commitment. Now that he is a successful man, Amitabha asks Karuna to leave her husband for him. Karuna, however, does or says little to encourage him.

The next morning, Amitabha decides to take the train instead of waiting for his vehicle to be repaired. He writes a note to Karuna, requesting her to meet him at the railway station if she still cared for him.

Amitabha waits for Karuna at the station. Karuna does come, but just to take back the sleeping pills Amitabha had borrowed.



The Academy Film Archive preserved Kapurush in 2005.[1]


  1. ^ "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.

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