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The Big City (1963)

Mahanagar (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 27 September 1963 (India)
Life at home changes when a house-wife from a middle-class, conservative family in Calcutta gets a job as a saleswoman.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anil Chatterjee ...
Subrata Mazumdar
...
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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Details

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Release Date:

27 September 1963 (India)  »

Also Known As:

The Big City: Mahanagar  »

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Runtime:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jaya Bhaduri's only film with Satyajit Ray. See more »

Goofs

When Priyogopal (Subrata's father) goes to visit his student Anupam Roychowdhury to ask for money he is shown having a conversation with Anupam in his office. When he is explaining his circumstance the camera shows him only sitting on a chair with his walking stick. In the very next scene when all the three characters are shown (third one being Anupam's wife ) the top of his walking stick has changed direction. The round bit on top was towards the right before and is turned to the left in the very next scene. See more »

Quotes

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

 
Absolute craftsmanship !!!
18 March 2014 | by (India) – See all my reviews

I haven't watched much of Satyajit Ray's films, but now I strongly have an urge to watch more and more.. My first Ray film was Charulata, which was once screened in our college film club. It too had Madhabi Mukherjee playing the title character, 'The lonely wife'.

After having finished watching Mahanagar, I felt that the lonely house wife I had seen earlier had achieved a sense of fulfillment..a sense of completion.The entire film is a microcosm of an typical urbane family of the 1960's Calcutta. The legendary city of Calcutta in the 1960's has been impressionistic-ally captured with all its charm as well as confusion.We can see some of the best well-scripted, realistic emotional sequences. An young Jayabhaduri too appears as the little sister of Mr. Mazumdar(The main character's husband). Madhabi Mukherjee again dons a intense character and proves her brilliance in acting.Now I have become impatient enough to watch Ray's Calcutta Trilogy and other films too.It is very difficult to get good prints of most of them.

Ray had based this film on Abataranika, a Bengali short story. All the actors have been handpicked-especially Anil Chatterjee and Haren Chatterjee-who played the role of Mr. Mazumdar and his father.The film was well-received at the 14th Berlin Festival and Ray won a Silver Bear for direction. Even though it was rejected at the Oscars, it received an All India merit certificate at the National awards that year.


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