Like many opinionated young men, Siddhartha Chowdury (Dhritiman Chatterjee) is thirsty for opportunity. Disillusioned after being rejected from his latest job interview, Siddhartha drifts aimlessly around Calcutta, his thoughts racing with angst, loneliness and sexual repression. His extended periods of solipsism drifts from flashbacks to an idyllic childhood with his family to surreal dream sequences filled with fantasies of action and fulfillment. Like Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye, Siddhartha is angered by the hypocrisy of modern society, where class barriers are rigid and money determines even the most intimate relationships.
The Adversary was among the series of films initiated by Satyajit Ray in the 1970s. Like Company Limited and The Middleman, it presents a stark view of post-Independent urban India and its burgeoning unemployment and corruption. The passionate lyricism characteristic of Ray's best films is accompanied by a sharp psychological study of the protagonist's neurosis, acutely rendered by Chatterjee s excellent performance.