32 user 76 critic

Charulata (1964)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 17 April 1964 (India)
The lonely wife of a newspaper editor falls in love with her visiting cousin-in-law, who shares her love for literature.


Satyajit Ray


Rabindranath Tagore (from the story "Nastaneer"), Satyajit Ray (scenario) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




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


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 cousin, 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 | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Edward Robert Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton GCB GCSI GCIE PC (8 November 1831 - 24 November 1891) was an English statesman and poet. He served as Viceroy of India between 1876 and 1880, during which time Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India. See more »


When Bhupati shows Amal his weekly newspaper 'The Sentinel', he reads the details as " 24th issue of the sentinel dated April the 9th, 1879' but when Amal sees it, the date is printed on the newspaper as 7 April, 1879. See more »


Bhupati Dutta: England!
Amal: The land of Shakespeare.
Bhupati Dutta: Why just Shakespeare? Burke, Macaulay, Gladstone!
See more »


Referenced in Conversation with James Ivory (2010) See more »


God Save The Queen
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Played on the Piano by Amol (Kumar Basu)
See more »

User Reviews

A subtle feminist perspective on love and work
20 November 2004 | by ioana-marinescuSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

17 April 1964 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Charulata: The Lonely Wife See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

R.D.Banshal & Co. See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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