Lakha comes from a family of bird catchers, but questions the value of catching birds. He, and the older Bhushan, sell their caged birds to the local dealer. Lakha's wife, Sari, complains ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (novel)
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Shankar Chakraborty
Sadhu Meher ...
Manoj Mitra
Laboni Sarkar ...


Lakha comes from a family of bird catchers, but questions the value of catching birds. He, and the older Bhushan, sell their caged birds to the local dealer. Lakha's wife, Sari, complains that he is not ambitious enough because he cares more for the birds than for her, and she starts meeting Natobar. Kalicharan, a city dealer, suggests they sell their birds directly to him. So Bhushan and Lakha take their next catch of birds on the train to Calcutta. Kalicharan invites them to a feast for the ceremony of the birds, with disastrous consequences. Written by Will Gilbert

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Release Date:

7 February 1996 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Shelter of the Wings  »

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a sensitive work ...
21 January 2014 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Buddhadeb Dasgupta's CHARACHAR is based on a story by Prafulla Roy. The film deals with the life of a bird-catcher Lokha played by Rajat Kapur. The film is an exploration of existence caught between 'reality and a dream.' The bird catcher's wife Sari (Laboni Sarkar) leaves him for another man Natobor (Sankar Chakraborty) when his love for birds became overpowering. The growing affinity for the feathered kind was fuelled by the sensitivity with which his dead son cared for them when he was alive. He gradually detaches himself from the 'reality' of modern existence and eventually merges himself at one with his 'dream' – becomes exactly like a bird without any worries of the world.

Bhusan Kaka ( Sadhu Meher ), a fellow bird catcher and his daughter Gauri ( Indrani Halder ) attempts to provide some comfort in his tumultous existence. Disenchanted with the way people became rich in his trade Lokha resolved that henceforth he would put a full stop to all of his bird catching activities. He says optimistically that the jungle would be able to provide sufficient food for his needs. The director makes recurring use of dream sequences and this film, more than any of his other works, have a poetical quality in the treatment. Apart from the thematic novelty, a genre hitherto unexplored by serious Indian filmmakers even though we have had such wonderful films like 'Born Free' and 'Hatari' made in the West aeon's ago, the film effectively captures the agony of a man caught in the wrong profession. The film soars above the standards set by most Indian filmmakers and highlights the distinctiveness of Dasgupta as a filmmaker. Succinctly, the film is an essay of possibly a dream that the director cherishes and not a hard- hitting statement about the ground reality facing a bird catcher's life. The ending sequence has a dream like quality about it. Embellished by strong performances from the entire cast the film is shot beautifully adding to its strength. Memorable stuff.

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