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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>
Raja Ram Nohan Roy (also known as Rammohan Roy) (1772 - 1833) was the founder of the Brahmo Sabha movement in 1828. This led to the Brahmo Samaj, an influential Bengali socio-religious reform movement. For his many and varied activities and his contributions to Indian (Bengali) society, Raja Ram Mohan Roy is regarded as one of the most significant figures in the Bengali renaissance of the early 19th century. 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 »
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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