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The Big City (1963)
"Mahanagar" (original title)

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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,411 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 56 critic

Life at home changes when a housewife from a middle-class, conservative family in Calcutta gets a job as a salesperson.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anil Chatterjee ...
Subrata Mazumdar
Madhabi Mukherjee ...
Arati Mazumder
...
Bani
Haren Chatterjee ...
Priyogopal (Subrata's father)
Sefalika Devi ...
Sarojini (Subrata's Mother) (as Shephalika Devi)
Prasenjit Sarkar ...
Pintu
Haradhan Bannerjee ...
Himangshu Mukherjee (as Haradhan Banerjee)
Vicky Redwood ...
Edith
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bibhuti Banerjee ...
(as Bibhuti Bandyopadhyay)
Manisha Chakraborty
Tapan Chatterjee ...
(as Tapen Chattopadhyay)
Arun Chowdhury
Pritish Dey
Shailen Ganguli
Shyamal Ghoshal
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Storyline

Calcutta in the early 1960's. Bhambal supports his wife Arati, his parents, and two children. Money is tight, so Arati goes to work. She's successful and enjoys it, but this untraditional step throws the household into chaos: her in-laws initiate a "cold war" of silence and disapproval. When Bhambal loses his job, her working is essential; he loses self respect, and the gulf between them widens. Arati questions whether to keep her daughter in school. At work, her friendship with Edith, a Euro-Indian who smokes, swears, and uses lipstick, brings Arati close to impertinence with her genial boss. Her job is imperiled, she acts impulsively, and who will understand her actions? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

27 September 1963 (India)  »

Also Known As:

The Big City: Mahanagar  »

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Quotes

Arati: [to her husband] You would not recognize me if you saw me at work.
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User Reviews

 
The Metropolis' Middle Class
10 September 2006 | by (Kolkata, India) – See all my reviews

Like all other Satyajeet Ray movies, this one too is wonderful. As the name signifies, Mahanagar or 'The Metropolis' is about Kolkata of the 1960s. The position of women, the biased views of the older generation, helpless conditions of banks and offices find a perfect blend in the movie. Bhombal supports his parents, sister, wife and children and works a clerk in a bank. Wife Arati understands their present day situation and decides employ herself as a sales girl. No one in the family- her in laws, her father, Bhombal and even her son liked her position though they had to completely rely on her after Bhombal lost his job. In her work, she met an Euro-Indian girl- Edith with whom she made friends. Eventually Edith got sacked from her job due to false charges and Arati, who protested against it, resigned. The films ends with a wonderful scene- Bhombal and Arati walking amongst thousands of people in the streets of Kolkata searching for a job. I personally liked a lot the last dialog of the movie- Bhombal said, 'You did nothing wrong resigning, you protested against corruption.. who dare does such a thing in such circumstances? Don't lose hope Arati, won't any one of us find a job in such a vast city?.....' Personally I liked very much the screen-play of Anil Chatterjee and Madhabi Mukherjee. The movie is overall a dedicated, sophisticated work of Satyajit Ray.


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