Title   Cast   Director   Year Shown  Other Info    Country  Notes 

India, 1964, 117 min

Shown in 1965


Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
Subrata Mitra
Dulal Dutta
Satyajit Ray
Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee, Sailen Mukherjee, Shyamal Ghoshal, Geetali Roy


prod co
R.D. Banshal & Co.
NFDC R.D. Bansal Productions

Charulata, Satyajit Ray's most nearly flawless film apart from his great Apu trilogy, is a flowing, opulent tale that seems to be lit from inside like a velvet-lined carriage with a lantern in it rocked by a hot monsoon wind. The film carries an exquisite period flavor of the 1870s in Bengal. We are in a sunny garden with a swing on long ropes and statues of fat little cupids; a house with a birdcage shaken financially by a sudden storm, and curlicue banisters, and embroidered rugs; a Chekhovian atmosphere in which men lie on cushions eating sweetmeats and talking of Bentham and Mill. Charulata is the heroine of the film which was adapted from a Rabindranath Tagore novel. Her husband is a bearded intellectual who runs an anti-British radical newspaper. To keep his bored wife amused, he sends for his young cousin Amal, who encourages her to write. A powerful sexual bond grows between them, though it is never acknowledged openly. Charulata is beautifully written, and sometimes very funny. Along with everything else, the picture is a fascinating fable about the bequest of Empire in India. The film is triumphant in its comprehension of a period.

—Penelope Gilliatt, The New Yorker