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The Music Room (1958)
"Jalsaghar" (original title)

 -  Drama | Music  -  1958 (India)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 2,467 users  
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Biswambhar Roy is a zamindar (landlord) and the last of his kind. With the title, he has none of the perquisites, inheriting diminishing lands that are being eroded by the neighbouring ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Chhabi Biswas ...
Huzur Biswambhar Roy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sardar Akhtar ...
Singer (as Begum Akhtar)
Gangapada Basu ...
Mahim Ganguly
Bismillah Khan ...
Musician
Salamat Ali Khan ...
Khyal singer
Waheed Khan ...
Ustad Ujir Khan (as Ostad Wahed Khan)
Roshan Kumari ...
Krishna Bai, dancer
Tulsi Lahiri ...
Manager of Roy's Estate
Tarapada Nandy
Padmadevi ...
Mahamaya, Roy's wife (as Padma Devi)
Kali Sarkar ...
Roy's Servant
Pinaki Sengupta ...
Khoka, Roy's Son
Edit

Storyline

Biswambhar Roy is a zamindar (landlord) and the last of his kind. With the title, he has none of the perquisites, inheriting diminishing lands that are being eroded by the neighbouring river. But he must maintain the lifestyle of his heritage. This ostentation is most apparent in the grandest room of his mansion, the music room. Here he inports the finest musicians and dancers to perform, and invites the area's most important commoners. His wife's entreaties to control spending are ignored, and the puberty party he throws for his son bring him down to the last few sacks of family jewels. Then, struck by tragedy, he locks the music room and slips into lethargy - until a final grand soiree consumes the last of his funds. Written by Bruce Cameron <dumarest@midcoast.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

1958 (India)  »

Also Known As:

The Music Room  »

Box Office

Gross:

$94,886 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Voted #20 on the list of "100 Best Films" by the prominent French magazine 'Cahiers du Cinema' in 2008. See more »

Connections

Featured in Celluloid Man (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Potpourri of Vestiges Review: Indian master filmmaker Satyajit Ray's profoundly evocative film that pays homage to classical Indian art forms
20 April 2014 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Jalsaghar (aka "The Music Room") is a 1958 drama film directed by master Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray. Based on a short story of the same name by Bangla writer Tarashankar Bandopadhyay, Jalsaghar presents the tale of decline of a feudal lord in the pre-independence India. Jalsaghar stars veteran Bangla actor Chhabi Biswas in the lead role of Huzur Biswambhar Roy. Huzur is the last of Zamindars—a dying breed of landlords who once formed the very basis of the Indian Feudal System. Huzur's glory days are over but his sense of superiority remains intact. He lives in the past neither acknowledging the present nor anticipating the future. He continues to be a servant of his refined tastes even as his coffers are getting empty.

Jalsaghar was Ray's fourth film which he made after the commercial failure of Aparijito—the finally film in Ray's much acclaimed "The Apu Trilogy". Ray had initially thought of making a commercial film, based on some popular work of literature, which would incorporate popular Indian music. But, what eventually transpired was something that was totally different. It was more of an art-house work than a commercial movie that Ray had initially intended to make. The movie failed to do well at the Indian box-office. But, it received both critical and financial success in Europe and the US and helped Ray earn international reputation. The music of Jalsaghar was written by the Indian composer and sitar maestro Ustad Vilayat Ali Khan who was encouraged by Ray to compose musical pieces that would gel well with the movie's dark and gloomy tone. The movie's melancholic musical composition and sombre art direction—the sublime use of mirrors, chandeliers, etc.—gives it a Gothic feel in the vein of American Film-Noir films of the '40s and '50s.

In Jalsaghar, Ray highlights the perpetual conflict of tradition versus modernity while simultaneously examining the Indian caste system. Jalsaghar is a sublime work of cinema that, having stood the test of time for over five decades, continues to inspire the budding filmmakers as well as enthrall the audiences worldwide. Jalsaghar is widely regarded as Satyajit Ray's most evocative film. It serves to be a great means of getting acquainted with Ray's oeuvre. Jalsaghar with its universal motifs is also the most accessible of Ray's films, especially for foreign viewers. Jalsaghar is not a movie that would woo a casual viewer. Restless viewers should best stay away from it. But, a patient viewer would be thoroughly rewarded. The movie owing to its slow pace may pose impediments to the uninitiated viewer. Jalsaghar is a deeply thought-provoking work of cinema that demands multiple viewings. The movie is a must watch for every student of cinema. Jalsaghar.is an essential watch for all Satyajit Ray fans as well as those who understand and appreciate intelligent cinema. 10/10

A more in-depth review of the film can be read at:

http://www.apotpourriofvestiges.com/


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