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

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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,401 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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Details

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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

 
City Blues
29 December 2005 | by (Bangalore) – See all my reviews

Mahangar captures the middle class culture of post-independence Calcutta effectively. The movie shows the emotional crisis of a family caught between family tradition and increasing expenses. The husband-wife relationship starts unraveling under the stress of brand new corporate identity and financial comfort the wife discovers. Its interesting how the other family members come to terms and make peace with the changed dynamics when they see their own gratification with the higher salary. Ray has done an exceptional job in uplifting the role of the Indian wife and depicting an almost perfect superwoman character – rising to the occasion and being the pillar of support at home and at work. Throughout these changes in lifestyle, she continues to rely upon her husband for moral support. The ending is well scripted – in their current dire situation, the couple finds mutual confidence and solace to continue the struggle and dream.


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