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Jalsaghar
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The Music Room (1958) More at IMDbPro »Jalsaghar (original title)

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The Music Room -- With The Music Room (Jalsaghar), Satyajit Ray brilliantly evokes the crumbling opulence of the world of a fallen aristocrat desperately clinging to a fading way of life. An incandescent depiction of the clash between tradition and modernity, and a showcase for some of India's most popular musicians of the day, The Music Room is a defining work by the great Bengali filmmaker.
The Music Room -- Three Reasons Criterion trailer

Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Tarashankar Banerjee (based on the story by)
Satyajit Ray (script)
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Contact:
View company contact information for The Music Room on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1958 (India) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Depicts the end days of a decadent zamindar (landlord) in Bengal, and his efforts to uphold his family prestige even when faced with economic adversity. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Monumental masterpiece of Satyajit Ray See more (21 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
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
Pratap Mukherjee ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Satyajit Ray 
 
Writing credits
Tarashankar Banerjee (based on the story by) (as Tarashankar Bandhopadhaya)

Satyajit Ray (script)

Santi P. Choudhury (assistant screenplay writer) (as Shantiprasad Chowdhury)

Produced by
Satyajit Ray .... production
 
Original Music by
Ustad Vilayat Khan 
Robin Majumdar  (as Robin Majumder)
 
Cinematography by
Subrata Mitra (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Dulal Dutta 
 
Production Design by
Bansi Chandragupta 
 
Art Direction by
Bansi Chandragupta 
 
Makeup Department
Basanta Dutta .... assistant makeup artist
Bhim Naskar .... assistant makeup artist
Sakti Sen .... makeup artist (as Shakti Sen)
 
Production Management
Anil Choudhury .... production manager
Bhanu Ghosh .... assistant production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nityananda Datta .... assistant director
Shailen Dutta .... assistant director
Tapeshwar Prasad .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Ravi Chatterjee .... assistant art director (as Rabi Chattopadhyay)
Prafulla Mallick .... assistant art director
Ramchandra Shende .... backdrops (as R. R. Sinde)
 
Sound Department
Amar Chattopadhyay .... assistant sound recordist
Satyen Ghosh .... assistant sound recordist
Durgadas Mitra .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Dhiren Das .... lighting
Debu Mondal .... lighting
Bijoy Roy .... assistant camera
Nimai Roy .... assistant camera
Mohan Sarkar .... assistant camera
 
Editorial Department
Tapeshwar Prasad .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Sardar Akhtar .... playback singer (as Begum Akhtar)
Shoukat Ali .... musician
Gautam Basu .... playback singer
Phani Bhattacharya .... musician
Aloknath Dey .... musician (as Alok Dey)
Anil Dutta .... musician
Gopi Dutta .... musician
Benjamin Gomes .... musician
Imrat Hossain Khan .... assistant composer
Laddan Khan .... musician
Salamat Ali Khan .... playback singer
Ustad Vilayat Khan .... musical director (as Ustaad Vilayat Khan)
Waheed Khan .... playback singer (as Ostad Wahed Khan)
Ashish Kumar .... musician
Robin Majumdar .... musician
Mahapurush Mishra .... musician
Pratap Narayan Mitra .... musician (as Pratapnarayan Mitra)
Rabin Pal .... musician
Dilip Roy .... musician
Madan Seth .... musician
Krishnakumar Shukla .... playback singer
Dakshina Mohan Tagore .... musician
 
Other crew
Roshan Kumari .... dancer
R.B. Mehta .... processing supervisor
 
Thanks
Janendra Narayan Chowdhury .... acknowledgment (as Raibahadur Gyanendranarayan Chowdhury)
Prasanta Deb .... acknowledgment
Subir Hajra .... acknowledgment
Syed Qasim Ali Mirza .... acknowledgment
Dhirendra Narayan Roy .... acknowledgment (as Rajarao Dhirendra Narayan Roy)
Surendra Narayan Singha .... acknowledgment (as Raibahadur Surendra Narayan Singha)
Prabirendra Mohan Tagore .... acknowledgment (as Maharaja Prabirendra Mohan Thakur)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Jalsaghar" - India (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
100 min | USA:95 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Company:

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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Darjeeling Limited (2007)See more »

FAQ

What calendar do they use?
What is the significance of the "thread ceremony"?
What is a zamindar?
See more »
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Monumental masterpiece of Satyajit Ray, 30 November 2012
Author: pgrnair from Toronto

"The Newsweek" magazine once asked Henri Cartier-Bresson , the great French photographer considered to be the father of modern photojournalism , during an interview to name his favorite film. Bresson replied -" Satyajit's Ray's 'The Music Rom'. An old film but one that made an indelible impression on my mind."

"The Music Room" is a film that led to greatness by Satyajit Ray's devotion to a single mood: elegiac. Ray isn't alone in sculpting this great piece. The acting by Chabi Biswas as the crumbling aristocrat Huzar Biswambhar Roy, cinematography by Subrata Mitra and music direction by Ustad Vilayat Khan all contribute immensely. The film adaptation of Tarashankar Banerjee's short story but instead of creating an exact adaptation, Satyajit Ray gave his own spin to the film, making music, rather being an interlude, an integral part of the screenplay.

In "Jalsaghar or The Music Room", Ray examines the age-old conflict between the landed nobility and the rich without pedigree, between those who dwell in the past and those who embrace the future. Using the same meticulous, unforced style employed in his celebrated "Apu Trilogy",Ray explores how one man's need for a pampered, sumptuous lifestyle leads inexorably towards his complete ruin. It's a fascinating snapshot of Indian culture in the 1930s, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of an inflated opinion of self-worth.

Set in the 1930's with the emerging nouveau rich, Roy is the last in a long of rich patriarchs, stumbling as his estate diminishes but clinging till the end to his refined means. Roy lives in a mansion in the middle of a desert, a symbol of his isolation from encroaching destitute. Roy is frequently filmed alone, as are other subjects (his dog, horse, elephant).

The film begins with the elderly Zamindar (landlord) sitting alone, staring blankly in his back garden overlooking a once proud space. He is served by one of his two humble and loyal servants. The story flashes back some 15-20 years to a more glorious time when the younger Huzar, with his young son Khoka and wife Padma (the realist/pragmatist to Huzar's idealism) was the class of his region, hosting luxurious concerts in his home. Huzar's centerpiece, his ivory tower and final refuge from the external reality/realism is the titular music room. The room reflects the Huzar's pride, his heirloom, his inner soul. Ray draws us in spatially, in concentric circles, from the outer oasis, to the backyard pool/yard, to the mansion, to the music room and further yet, the music room's stage. Likewise Mitra's camera often, and nearly always in relation to Roy, dollies inwards toward Roy. The movement not only serves to honor the character and make us feel more empathy toward him, but counterpoints the film's maze-like construction.

Chhabi Biswas gives a superb performance as the crumbling feudal landlord. Subrata Mitra's cinematography and music by Ustad Vilayat Khan all contribute immensely to create the atmosphere. " Music Room" is a very visual film -- there are numerous ingenious shots (the insect dying in the glass, the bliss of an elephant being bathed in the river, the joy of the servants reopening the dusty music room, the way the chandelier gets reflected in the wine glass revealing Huzur's states of mind , and the last scene where a spider crawls up the leg of his own portrait) and a stirring dance sequence. The camera movements reinforce the character and highlight film's maze-like construction and Roy being trapped in his past.

"The Music Room" remains as a majestic masterpiece of a man's monumental effort to cling to his illustrious legacy and hold his head high when his feet wither.

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