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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 »
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.
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 »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A subtly rich period film from late 1800s, certainly worth relishing
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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