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Charulata (1964)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  17 April 1964 (India)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 2,335 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 63 critic

The lonely wife of a newspaper editor falls in love with her visiting cousin-in-law, who shares her love for literature.

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(from the story "Nastaneer"), (scenario), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Amal
Madhabi Mukherjee ...
Charulata
Shailen Mukherjee ...
Bhupati Dutta (as Sailen Mukherjee)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tarapada Basu
Gopaldas Bhattacharya
Dilip Bose ...
Shashanka
Ramesh Chandra Chandra
Sunilkanta Dasgupta
Nilotpal Dey ...
Joydeb
Bankim Ghosh ...
Jagannath
Shyamal Ghoshal ...
Umapada
Ajit Gupta
Bholanath Koyal ...
Braja
Kamu Mukherjee
Suku Mukherjee ...
Nishikanta
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Storyline

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 <erik@astro.asutexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

17 April 1964 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Charulata  »

Box Office

Gross:

$77,820 (USA)
 »

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References The Little Foxes (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

A subtly rich period film from late 1800s, certainly worth relishing
10 January 2000 | by (Durham, NC (USA)) – See all my reviews

Satyajit Ray is one of my very favorite film makers, and I especially love his "Apu" Trilogy and "Home and the World", all four of which I would probably rate 10/10 or possibly 9/10. I saw "Charulata" ("The Lonely Wife") on videotape in the closing days of 1999.

"Charulata" clearly espouses S.Ray's distinctive style with very strong and realistic characters subtly developed, rich immersion into the period of the film (in this case around the time of the Indian Mutiny in the 1860s or 1870s, as I recall from history), having of a very few settings that are each portrayed in detail, and compelling and introspective camera shots. I am not surprised that some people are reminded, in viewing S. Ray's films, of Russian author Chekhov; I think of the paralysis of the characters in "The Cherry Orchard" and their juxtaposition against a lovely estate that they are in the process of losing.

In this film there isn't the same faded glory, but the lovely home decor and liberating gardens do contrast starkly with the paralysis of the wife. Bright and with clear literary talent, she is stuck as but a home fixture for her well-intentioned but unseeing husband. The husband has laudable passion for his newspaper and the truth, but is sadly ignorant of the companionship and time that any relationship, particularly a marital one, demands.

I would probably rate this film 8.5-9 out of 10. For me, it didn't have the strong emotion of any of the other films I mentioned above or the intricate story of "Agantuk" ("The Stranger", in color and which I believe was his last film). But overall, "Charulata" is another masterpiece film by Satyajit Ray with a quiet and humble, yet powerful, presentation, rather uncommon in contemporary film.


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