Bariwali (The Lady of the House) (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bariwali (The Lady of the House) (2000)





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Movie Info

Recalling the subtle, understated films of master director Satyajit Ray, this is a quiet drama about a lonely, unfortunate middle-aged woman. Banalata (Kiron Kher) has lived a solitary existence since her husband-to-be died the night before their wedding from a snake bite. Never having quite gotten over the tragedy, she rarely ventures out and is clearly very lonely. This changes when she agrees to allow a film production to shoot in a wing in her sprawling estate. Suddenly her house is filled with movie stars and glamorous people, including the beautiful actress Sudeshna (Rupa Ganguly) and charming director Deepankar (Chiranjeet Chakraborty). Though she knows that not only is Deepankar married but that his former lover Sudeshna still holds a torch for him, the lonely widow finds herself drawn to the director. He is exactly the sort of worldly character whom she has always longed to meet. The rakish man flirts back and even persuades Banalata to appear in a bit part in the movie. Yet once the film crew decamps, things at the estate return to the same grinding tedium as before, though the woman feels her isolation all the more acutely. The letters that Banalata writes to Deepankar go unanswered, and her bit part in the movie ends up on the cutting-room floor. This film was screened at the 2000 Berlin Film Festival. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi


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