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Jalsaghar (The Music Room)

Jalsaghar (The Music Room) (1958)



Average Rating: 9.7/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 889

My Rating

Movie Info

After completing his widely acclaimed Pather Panjali and Aparajito, the first two films in his "Apu Trilogy," Bengali director Satyajit Ray squeezed in time for this modest drama before finishing his trilogy in 1959 with The World of Apu. Possibly analogous to a broader picture of existence or even modern India, this compelling tale traces the deteriorating life of an old country nobleman. He lives in the past, in a slowly decaying villa, and cannot adjust to the fast-changing, vastly different

Jul 19, 2011

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All Critics (18) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (0) | DVD (3)

Ray's social insight is not dimmed by treating his subject in this distant, allegorical manner; if anything it's intensified by the closer focus he's able to train on his characters.

July 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Slow, rapt and hypnotic, it is -- given some appreciation of Indian music -- a remarkable experience.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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For all its exotic stimulations, it is an exceedingly simple, moving film, expressing a human dilemma that should be comprehensible to all.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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It's a fascinating snapshot of Indian culture in the 1930s, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of an inflated opinion of self-worth.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A wonderful tale of pride and the fools it makes of men.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Newly available on video at last in a high-quality print, it is the story of a man who has been compared to King Lear because of his pride, stubbornness, and the way he loses everything that matters.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This production is an extraordinary mixture of distinctive Bengali culture and universal themes of emotional loss.

December 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

It's a full-on Shakespearean tragedy that manages to be both critical of and sympathetic to its main character.

August 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

A remarkable film.

August 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

[Satyajit Ray's] most accomplished film up that time and many critics still hold it as the director's masterpiece.

August 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online
Turner Classic Movies Online

both a nuanced psychological portrait of an aristocrat in decline and a showcase for India's best musical talent

July 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

A surprisingly sympathetic elegy for the feudal class, or at least one of its sad representatives...the notion of lost legacy informs the film's distraught last word: 'blood.' [Blu-ray]

July 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Moving look at the power of music, shot with a rich visual style.

July 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

Like a lotus flower, Satyajit Ray's Jalsagbar (The Music Room) gently reveals its enigmatic central character

July 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

One of my favorite films, The Music Room bathes its viewers in Indian culture while remaining universally accessible with its masterful photography and stunning music.

March 31, 2004 Full Review Source: Film and Felt
Film and Felt

A fine example of Ray's directorial mastery.

July 30, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The director's moody visual style befits his complex look at a character not unlike Orson Welles' Charles Foster Kane--a misanthrope who, despite his wealth of toys, has doomed himself to living arrogantly impoverished and alone.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Nashville Scene
Nashville Scene

Audience Reviews for Jalsaghar (The Music Room)

A beautifully directed tale of an old man whose stubbornness and pride have got the better of him. Chhabi Biswas plays the Landlord well, a man who is the last of his kind who is too reluctant to move with the times to the point where it drives him mad, the only pleasure he has left is his music. Ray's description of the film is of the 'deteriorating life of an old country nobleman' and one can easily feel sympathy for the character. That is until you see the levels of luxury is is used to and the very little he does to earn it. It's a brilliant story of contrast and a melancholy look at the passing of time and tradition. The music and extended dancing scenes are great.
May 8, 2013

Super Reviewer

a raja in his crumbling palace cares for nothing but music as the world moves on without him. a very touching portrait of a man who loses everything, the most beautiful of ray's films i have yet seen, and his first criterion edition! it helps if u like indian music :)
August 7, 2011
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

A look at the end of an era and of one man's fading away from this world and all that he knew and loved. What a universal and real, albeit super sad and depressing, film that captures time gone by. It's a intimate look at a man named Huzur Biswambhar Roy as he has survived through the years (Both his wife and son have died) and with each passing one, he is left behind from the consistently evolving modern world around him. He decides that he will throw one last grand event in order to relive the more happy past. This is my first film review of a Satajit Ray film and a nice and beautiful introduction to the profound Director's works, most of which I will one day view! Jalsaghar (The Music Room) gives a beautiful perspective of a culture gone by and the traditions involved. Recommended!
January 29, 2014
Chris Browning

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • The Music Room (DE)
  • The Music Room (UK)
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