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

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Music  |  1958 (India)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 2,864 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 61 critic

Huzur Biswamghar Roy is a rich landowner who lives in a palace with his wife and son and his many servants. His passion - his wife would call it his addiction - is music and he spends a ... See full summary »

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(based on the story by) (as Tarashankar Bandhopadhaya) , (script), 1 more credit »
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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

Huzur Biswamghar Roy is a rich landowner who lives in a palace with his wife and son and his many servants. His passion - his wife would call it his addiction - is music and he spends a great deal of his fortune on concerts held for the locals in his magnificent music room. His wealth is in decline however. His lands are being eroded by the local river and he pays for the concert he arranges for his son's coming of age party by selling some of the family jewels. When his neighbor Ganguli invites him to a party at his house, Roy decides to one up him and organizes a lavish party for the same day - costing him the last of the jewels. After his wife and son are killed in a storm, Roy becomes something of a recluse, closing up the music room. Now, many years later he decides to have one final concert, spending the last of his money to again outdo - and spite - Ganguli. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1958 (India)  »

Also Known As:

The Music Room  »

Box Office

Gross:

$94,886 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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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 »

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Featured in Celluloid Man (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

A study of the nature of privilege in society -- PLOT DISCUSSED
27 August 1999 | by (Arlington County, Virginia) – See all my reviews

WARNING -- PLOT DISCUSSED -- The jalsaghar is a great music hall in the mansion of the main character, a scion of a great landowning family. It's almost all he has left of the Ray family's legacy. Over the years his land has been slowly eaten away by one of the great rivers of Bengal. But he still has the trappings of aristocracy -- his retainers address him as "Hujur" ("my lord"); even his wealthy neighbour, Ganguli, addresses him as "Thakurda" ("(paternal) grandfather"). He lives only for his jalsaghar, where he can recreate his family's past glory and where he can still win a game of one-upmanship against Ganguli. Meanwhile, Ganguli is up-and-coming. He's a businessman, the new aristocrat, land-poor but cash-rich. He gets electric lights for his house; he gets a motor car, the first in the region. Satyajit Ray, the legendary director, masterfully contrasts the hollowness of the old aristocrat with the shallowness of the new aristocrat. How is privilege earned? Who is due respect? What is worthy of pride? What will pride get you? These are the questions that are explored with subtlety. The focus of the film is the performance of Chhabi Biswas, a legend of the Calcutta stage. (An interesting aside -- "chhabi" is Bengali for "picture" and "biswas" means "belief.") He fit the mold of a classic actor -- temperamental, undependable, a raging alcoholic, a master. Almost every scene is wholly dependent on him, as he preens and boasts and rages and pines away for lost glory. When you read that Biswas was in real life completely tone-deaf, his creation of a music-lover is an astonishing accomplishment, both by him and by Satyajit Ray.


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