8.3/10
2,716
21 user 60 critic

The Big City (1963)

Mahanagar (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 27 September 1963 (India)
Life at home changes when a house-wife from a middle-class, conservative family in Calcutta gets a job as a saleswoman.

Director:

Satyajit Ray

Writers:

Narendranath Mitra (from a story by), Satyajit Ray (scenario) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Top Rated Indian Movies #11 | 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Charulata (1964)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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

Director: Satyajit Ray
Stars: Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee, Shailen Mukherjee
Nayak (1966)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

En route to Delhi to receive an award, a Bengali film star reevaluates his success through his fellow passengers, dreams and past experiences.

Director: Satyajit Ray
Stars: Uttam Kumar, Sharmila Tagore, Bireswar Sen
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A group of Calcutta city slickers, including the well-off Asim (Soumitra Chatterjee), the meek Sanjoy (Subhendu Chatterjee) and the brutish Hari (Samit Bhanja), head out for a weekend in the wilderness.

Director: Satyajit Ray
Stars: Sharmila Tagore, Kaberi Bose, Simi Garewal
Teen Kanya (1961)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Based on popular Indian stories of great writer Rabindra Nath Tagore, these short films reveal definitive moments in the lives of three young girls.

Director: Satyajit Ray
Stars: Anil Chatterjee, Chandana Banerjee, Aparna Sen
Kapurush (1965)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Calcutta based screenwriter Amitabha Roy is traveling to Hashimara in north Bengal partly to visit his brother-in-law and partly to do research for what will be his third film. En route ... See full summary »

Director: Satyajit Ray
Stars: Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee, Haradhan Bannerjee
Jana Aranya (1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A bright and idealistic young man steels himself for the dog-eat-dog business world, only to flounder in a job market packed with thousands of other hopefuls.

Director: Satyajit Ray
Stars: Pradip Mukherjee, Rafiq Ahmed, S. Bagchi
Mahapurush (1965)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A devout Hindu family falls victim to a charlatan posing as a holy man.

Director: Satyajit Ray
Stars: Charuprakash Ghosh, Rabi Ghosh, Prasad Mukherjee
Pratidwandi (1970)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young college graduate is struggling to find a job. He lives in a flat with his younger, employed sister, revolutionary brother and widowed mother. The strain of the situation ultimately causes him to hallucinate.

Director: Satyajit Ray
Stars: Dhritiman Chatterjee, Asgar Ali, Arabinda Banerjee
Seemabaddha (1971)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Chatterji is an ambitious and self-made young man who becomes the director of the company he works for.

Director: Satyajit Ray
Stars: Sharmila Tagore, Barun Chanda, Paromita Chowdhury
Ghare-Baire (1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When the movie opens, a woman is recalling the events that molded her perspective on the world. Years ago, her husband, a wealthy Western-educated landowner, challenged tradition by ... See full summary »

Director: Satyajit Ray
Stars: Soumitra Chatterjee, Victor Banerjee, Swatilekha Sengupta
Jalsaghar (1958)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Depicts the end days of a decadent zamindar (landlord) in Bengal, and his efforts to uphold his family prestige even when faced with economic adversity.

Director: Satyajit Ray
Stars: Chhabi Biswas, Sardar Akhtar, Gangapada Basu
Agantuk (1991)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A well-off family is paid an unexpected, and rather unwanted, visit by a man claiming to be the woman's long-lost uncle. The initial suspicion with which they greet the man slowly dissolves... See full summary »

Director: Satyajit Ray
Stars: Utpal Dutt, Dipankar Dey, Mamata Shankar
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anil Chatterjee ... Subrata Mazumdar
Madhabi Mukherjee ... Arati Mazumder
Jaya Bhaduri ... Bani
Haren Chatterjee Haren Chatterjee ... Priyogopal (Subrata's father)
Sefalika Devi Sefalika Devi ... Sarojini (Subrata's Mother) (as Shephalika Devi)
Prasenjit Sarkar Prasenjit Sarkar ... Pintu
Haradhan Bannerjee Haradhan Bannerjee ... Himangshu Mukherjee (as Haradhan Banerjee)
Vicky Redwood Vicky Redwood ... Edith
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bibhuti Banerjee Bibhuti Banerjee ... (as Bibhuti Bandyopadhyay)
Manisha Chakraborty Manisha Chakraborty
Tapan Chatterjee ... (as Tapen Chattopadhyay)
Arun Chowdhury Arun Chowdhury
Pritish Dey Pritish Dey
Shailen Ganguli Shailen Ganguli
Shyamal Ghoshal Shyamal Ghoshal
Edit

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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

India

Language:

Bengali | English

Release Date:

27 September 1963 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big City: Mahanagar See more »

Filming Locations:

Calcutta, West Bengal, India

Company Credits

Production Co:

R.D.Banshal & Co. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jaya Bhaduri's only film with Satyajit Ray. See more »

Goofs

When Priyogopal (Subrata's father) goes to visit his student Anupam Roychowdhury to ask for money he is shown having a conversation with Anupam in his office. When he is explaining his circumstance the camera shows him only sitting on a chair with his walking stick. In the very next scene when all the three characters are shown (third one being Anupam's wife ) the top of his walking stick has changed direction. The round bit on top was towards the right before and is turned to the left in the very next scene. See more »

Quotes

Arati: [to her husband] You would not recognize me if you saw me at work.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Humkadam (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Classic Gem It Is
5 March 2008 | by ChrysanthepopSee all my reviews

Through 'Mahanagar' the great Satyajit Ray tells a story of an ordinary traditional family living in the modern big city (hence the title). However, the breadwinner of the family does not earn enough money to support the whole family. The wife decides to support him by working herself. Fortunately she finds a job and befriends a modern Anglo-Indian co-worker who does influence her by applying lip-stick and giving her a pair of sunglasses. The father of the family is a retired teacher and he does not accept the fact that his daughter-in-law is working. Gradually, the rest of the family disapprove her working. The retired teacher visits his former student and 'asks' for financial help.

Through this wonderful family drama, Ray tells us a story of the clash between modern and traditional values in a middle-class family struggling to make a living in the big city. Furthermore, Ray examines the 'urban' relationships as is reflected between the employer and employee, the husband and wife, the co-workers, the working mother and her child and so on. It is no surprise that Ray is THE most accomplished director of Indian cinema. This film, like pretty much everything else he did, only reminds us why.

The performances are top-notch. Again, this is no surprise as Ray manages to extract the best from his actors. Madhabi Mukherjee is breathtaking as we see her transform from a naive housewife, to a determined and excited employee to a strong courageous woman who stands up for her friend. Anil Chatterjee is excellent as the struggling husband who tries to make ends meet, silently accepts his wife's working but secretly resenting it. Vicky Redwood adds freshness with a strong presence and a likable performance. Haradhan Bannerjee is very good as the prejudiced but sympathetic boss. Jaya Bhadhuri delivers a very natural performance. The rest of the cast are all just as competent.

The ending isn't the traditional happy ending one witnesses in the numerous Indian films but it's one of optimism and hope that beautifully 'seals' the film. 'Mahanagar' is a fantastic example of the best of Indian cinema. A classic gem it is.


21 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 21 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed