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
I found the movie exhilarating. This a movie where a Bengali housewife's actual stand in the eyes of those near to her comes to life. The house wife Aarati takes up the load of a job only to care for her family. While other family members gradually accept her new role, mostly because of the dire need of money, its her closest ally in the family, her husband, who isn't very warm to her new role. It first of all hurts his pride to accept her contribution, and he also resents her new found confidence, more than her independence. At the same time, Its the housewife Aarati who passes every test, as she copes with every challenge thrown at her, at home, at work and in her relationships with every individual. Personally i think thats what women are groomed to be, from birth, brave to take on the world whenever necessary. Its the husband who falters and learns to accept her after a big fight within himself.
Satyajit Ray, in Mahanagar, made a movie where ( in terms of cinematography and story-telling) not a single frame is wasted in anyway. Every movement of the actors, every hint relates to something or the other, while the story-telling is still simple enough for the ordinary to follow the story. I would recommend this to anyone.
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