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Charu lives a lonely and idle life in 1870s India. Although her husband Bhupati devotes more time to his newspaper than to their marriage, he sees her loneliness and asks his brother-in-law,Umapada to keep her company. At the same time Bhupati's own brother, Amal, a would-be writer comes home finishing his college education. However, after several months, Charu and Amal's feelings for each other move beyond literary friendship. Written by
Erik Gregersen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Charulata displays a subtle story about the contradictions facing a cultivated and intelligent - yet idle - woman in a male-dominated society. Charulata's husband is a very rich man, a liberal intellectual and the editor of a journal "The Sentinel", dedicated to the "propagation of the truth". Unfortunately, the husband, though an honest man and an idealist, fails to give enough attention to his wife Charulata. The latter is interested in romantic Bengali literature, not politics. Her intellectual perspective thus clashes with that of her husband, who looks down on literature, and in particular on that literature which relates to love.
Through a unique understated sentimental experience, which forms the core of the movie, Charulata reveals to herself and her husband a power to act on the world. After a series of difficulties that affect her husband's newspaper and her own sentimental self, Charulata finally takes a step forward and proposes to collaborate with her husband. However, the director makes us doubt that love and work can be reconciled by referring to the title of the Tagore literary work the movie is adapted from, the "broken nest".
Contrary to what my comments above may suggest, this is NOT a movie with a heavy and obvious political message. The cinematographic style is thus often reminiscent of Jean Renoir's "Une Partie de Campagne", with, in particular, the use of a swing. The movie has little dialogue and uses the subtlety of symbols and the actors' facial expressions to convey what the characters go through. The characters are the center of the story as individuals, not archetypes, but it is because they are so credible and complex as individuals that they can make us think about universal questions.
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