“The Last Ride” describes the final days of old Mansur Mian (dignity personified in veteran Arun Mukhopadhyay’s moving perf), forced to sell the horse-drawn carriage with which his family has earned its living for generations. Director Nabyendu Chatterjee mercifully sidesteps most if not all of the story’s built-in sentimentality by realistic character depiction and by looking beyond the injustice of this world to the peace of the next. Pic’s restraint and careful lensing should earn it festival interest and maybe scattered art film sales.
In Calcutta’s Muslim community, Mansur’s son (a modulated Raisal Islam Asad) is a limo driver who dreams of owning his own taxi. He resents his father’s carriage driving, which costs them more in feed for the old horse Fakir than it brings in. Still he waits until Mansur finally agrees to sell it. Very ill, the old man dreams reassuring dreams, while a series of dramatic thunderstorms create an apocalyptic atmosphere outside. Horse and carriage fade, as Mansur realizes that the important thing in life is to fulfill what you were born to do. Tech work is quite good, and Nikhil Chatterjee’s music has beautiful moments.