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The Cloud-Capped Star (1960)
"Meghe Dhaka Tara" (original title)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 1,322 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 19 critic

A selfless young woman (Supriya Choudhury) sacrifices her own happiness for her unappreciative family.

Director:

(as Shri Ritwik Kumar Ghatak)

Writers:

(assistant scenario writer), (scenario) (as Shri Ritwik Kumar Ghatak) , 2 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Supriya Choudhury ...
Nita
Anil Chatterjee ...
Shankar (as Anil Chattopadhyay)
Gyanesh Mukherjee ...
Banshi Dutta (as Gyanesh Mukhopadhyay)
Bijon Bhattacharya ...
Taran Master
Gita Dey ...
Mother
Gita Ghatak ...
Gita
Dwiju Bhawal ...
Mantu
Niranjan Ray ...
Sanat
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Abhi Bhattacharya
Satindra Bhattacharya
Jamini Chakraborty
Suresh Chatterjee ...
(as Suresh Chattopadhyay)
Ranen Ray Choudhury ...
Baul singer (as Ranen Chowdhury)
Arati Das
Narayan Dhar
Edit

Storyline

"Meghe Dhaka Tara" tells the tragic story of the beautiful daughter of a middle-class refugee family from East Pakistan, living in the outskirts of Calcutta under modest circumstances. Neeta sacrifices everything for her family, including her personal happiness, her money, and her health, while her achievements are hardly ever recognized by the people around her. Written by meitschi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 October 1990 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Hidden Star  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Nita meets her former lover at the tree near the pond (after about 90 minutes), a microphone is visible in the top left corner. See more »

Connections

Followed by The Golden Thread (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Raw passion and compelling characters
5 July 2004 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

The independence of India in August 1947 resulted in the partition of Bengal, a trauma etched in the minds of the people whose lives were changed forever. Nowhere is this upheaval better portrayed than in the films of Bengali director Ritwik Ghatak. An active Marxist who began his career in the Communist People's Theater, Ghatak's films never achieved widespread popularity but he is now considered to be one of the top Indian directors of the last half of the 20th century. His best known film, The Cloud-Capped Star, the first in a trilogy examining the economic effects of partition, is a powerful story about a young Indian women who sacrifices her education and marriage in order to hold her family together. Ghatak's inspiration for the character was a woman he saw at a bus stop whose beaten down appearance struck him as being typical of Bengali refugees.

Neeta (Supriya Choudhury) is the youngest daughter of a refugee family from East Pakistan who lives in a middle class home near Calcutta. Neeta is a college student whose brother Shankar (Anil Chaterjee) is a layabout, an aspiring singer who lives off the family while practicing his art and dreaming of a career on the concert stage. Neeta believes in her brother and loves him deeply but has to constantly fend off the complaints of both parents about his laziness. Neeta also has an attractive sister Gita (Gita Ghatak) and a brother Mantu (Dwiju Bhawal) who is also a promising student.

When her father (Bijon Battacharya) has a serious accident, Neeta is forced to give up her studies and find a job and Mantu gives up school to work in a factory. The father is dismayed by a world that no longer has a place for poetry or idealism and falls into a state of hopelessness. Neeta is a good-hearted young woman, but one who fails to consider her own needs and puts off plans for marriage with Sanat (Niranjan Ray), an intellectual studying for a Phd. Sanat, unwilling to wait for her, becomes infatuated with Neeta's sister Gita and they marry to Neeta's dismay. Even though Shankar eventually finds success in Bombay, Neeta's strain in having to hold the family together leads to serious illness and the family's burdens only increase.

The Cloud-Capped Star is an angry film and often bleak, but sudden bursts of sitar music and joyous singing by Shankar lighten the tone. Although the film can be overly melodramatic and unevenly acted, it contains an overriding humanism that is reminiscent of Satyajit Ray and the neo-realist films of the 40s and 50s. Ghatak's raw passion and compelling characters make it easy to overlook its flaws and the result is a tribute to the human spirit and a deeper understanding of the tragedy that partition brought to India.


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