8.2/10
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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.

Director:

Satyajit Ray

Writers:

Rabindranath Tagore (from the story "Nastaneer"), Satyajit Ray (scenario) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

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
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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 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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

India

Language:

Bengali | English

Release Date:

17 April 1964 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Charulata: The Lonely Wife See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$77,820
See more on IMDbPro »

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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Exile of Seeta (Sita)" is the story of the exiling of Seeta, the goddess consort of the god Vishnu (also known as Rama). Vishnu exiled Seeta after she had been rescued from imprisonment. Seeta had been away from her husband's home and this was not acceptable culturally, even though Seeta had been chaste in her imprisonment. See more »

Goofs

when Bhupati shows Amal his weekly newspaper 'The Sentinel', it can be seen that it is published every Saturday and the date shown is 7 April 1879 but actually 7 April 1879 was Monday. See more »

Quotes

Amal: What's this?
Mandakini: Slippers for the master.
Amal: [singing] What good fortune my cousin has!
Charulata: [singing] You shall have what he has
Amal: You mean slippers?
Charulata: A wife.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Forty Shades of Blue (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Beautiful And Haunting Materpiece
7 February 2003 | by davidalsSee all my reviews

**POSSIBLE SPOILERS**

Lacking the formidable cultural legacy of his earlier Apu trilogy, CHARULATA (Ray's 11th film) lacks nothing else – if Ray's overall style was derived from neo-realism; CHARULATA proved that – in his own uncluttered way – he was also a master of style and subtle elegance.

CHARULATA was perhaps Ray's most technically stunning work, featuring an elegant - if moody - story shot in a manner that finds Ray experimenting a bit. The story is set in an upper-class, intellectual household in 1890s India, and the period setting is rendered in great detail – giving the film a lush, living beauty that (thanks to the stunning cinematography of Subrata Mitra) never crosses over into stuffiness. In a handful of scenes, a French new wave influence can also be seen – primarily at the very end, and also in an earlier scene featuring the title character's recollections (in a quick-moving montage) of childhood memories.

Based on a story by Rabindranath Tagore, the film explores marital complacency, as Bhupati (a wealthy publisher and political idealist, devotes the majority of his time to his publishing business, and to political interests, and grows increasingly isolated from his wife, Charulata. Charulata – as an attractive upper-class wife, is essentially expected to manage the household, and not much else, and is increasingly both lonesome (Bhupati is a generally pleasant enough husband, though also a severe workaholic who is rarely around, and - in his sexual politics - he is a product of his time) and intellectually restless.

In the midst of this, Bhupati's younger brother Amal arrives – Amal, a romantically inclined bohemian and recent college graduate who is searching for work while also pursuing literary ambitions, and has temporarily moved into the household. Amal and Charulata are instantly drawn to each other – first as intellectual companions, before an awareness of attraction is recognized. The two are plainly aware of the impossibility of the unrequited relationship, as Bhupati – after discovering than an employee has been embezzling form him – is then devastated to discover that his wife is turning away from him.

To highlight the increasing distance between each of the three characters, CHARULATA is formalistic in it's look (with the handful of well-placed new-wave-inflected scenes adding textural complexity and emotionalism), with the classical touches of the cinematography underscoring the characters' ever-increasing distance from each other. Exploring sexual and class politics - with great depth and complexity - in a historical setting (while – in its' exploration of idealistic, nationalistic politics – making subtle connections to the present-day handling of the same issues in Bengali society), with flawless performances from all, CHARULATA is a beautiful and haunting masterpiece.


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