Charulata (1964)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This film by Satyajit Ray, India's most renowned filmmaker, tells the story of Charu (Madhabi Mukherjee), a woman in late 19th-century Calcutta. She is neglected by her busy husband, Bhupati (Shailen Mukherjee), a politically active newspaper publisher. When Bhupati's younger cousin Amal (Soumitra Chatterjee), a sensitive, intellectual student on break from the university, comes for an extended visit, Charu enjoys Amal's company, and the two while away the hours in conversation. But as their relationship grows closer, Charu falls in love with Amal. The film, based on a popular Indian novel, marks a significant point in Ray's career, as it bears the influence of Western film on his directorial style. Shown at the 1965 Berlin Film Festival, the film was curiously and inexplicably rejected by the committee at the Cannes Film Festival. ~ Jonathan E. Laxamana, Rovi
Art House & International , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Amanda Films Ltd

Watch it now


Madhabi Mukherjee
as Charulata
Gitali Roy
as Manda
Bankim Ghosh
as Jagannath
Dilip Bose
as Sasanka
as Nilatpal Dey
Suku Mukherjee
as Nisikanta
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Charulata

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (6)

Film masterpieces, like our heart's desire, shouldn't elude us forever; Charulata is an experience every movie-lover should share.

Full Review… | August 29, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Ray recognizes the paradox that reformers are insulated from the people for whom they toil, but the movie is too stately and attenuated.

March 18, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

You shouldn't miss this.

Full Review… | October 24, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Possibly more relaxed and leisurely than most Satyajit Ray films, Charulata nevertheless has a graciousness and dignity which impart an added sincerity to the simple, yet thoroughly acceptable story.

Full Review… | October 24, 2007
Top Critic

Certainly one of Ray's best films, with a superb music score of his own composition.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

To put it baldly, as the Ray camera could never do, the picture is an artistic masterpiece, impeccably performed, but diluted in impact and power by a stately, inchworm pace that accentuates a plot as old and familiar as the hills.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Charulata


Gorgeous and sumptuously melancholy; Charulata is with little doubt one of Satyajit Ray's crowning achievements.

Brian Krause-Rivera
Brian Krause-Rivera

An exquisitely piercing love story from Bengali director Satyajit Ray,based upon the novella Nastanirh(The Lonely Wife) by Rabindranath Tagore.Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 15th Berlin International Film Festival in 1965,and also the Golden Lotus Award for Best Film at the National Film Awards of the same year. The film tells the story of a lonely housewife who lives a wealthy,secluded and idle life in 1870's Calcutta,while her husband runs a newspaper,and spend most of his time at work and with his friends than with her. However,he notices the loneliness of his wife,and ask his brother to keep her company and help her with her own writing.It's a thin line between love and friendship,and soon her feelings for him grow into love. Madhabi Mukherjee is so beautiful and just perfect as the lonely wife. The famous scene in which she sitting on her swing singing and looking at her brother-in law is just breathtaking! A very sophisticated and beautiful film from one of the greatest director in cinema history!

Benjamin Zapata
Benjamin Zapata

[font=Century Gothic]In "Charulata," it is 1879 and Bhupati(Shailen Mukherjee) feels sorry for his beautiful wife, Charulata(Madhabi Mukherjee), since he is so busy publishing his newspaper that he has very little time to spend with her. Fearing that she is lonely, he summons his carefree brother, Amal(Soumitra Chatterjee), a poet who dreams of traveling to England. That is not the only reason as he also offers him a job and starts to think about possible marriages for him.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Charulata" is a resonant and understated soap opera with political overtones set in colonial India. Bhupati is an anglophile who publishes his newspaper, The Sentinel, in English, while wearing European clothing. He believes in democracy and freedom of the press in criticizing the colonial government. One presumes that he will get a very rude awakening one day when he discovers that the rule of law is not applied equally to everyone in India. So, you could see the beginnings of nationalism here in the recently united subcontinent.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Charulata Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Charulata on our Movie forum!

News & Features