Charulata (1964) - Rotten Tomatoes

Charulata (1964)

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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

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Cast

Suku Mukherjee
as Nisikanta
Dilip Bose
as Sasanka
Joydeb
as Nilatpal Dey
Bankim Ghosh
as Jagannath
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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.

August 29, 2014 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

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

You shouldn't miss this.

October 24, 2007 | Full Review…

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.

October 24, 2007 | Full Review…

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

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
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.

May 10, 2005 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Charulata

½

This beautiful film from Director Satyajit Ray has a lot of things going for it, the story of repressed passion, of course, but also elements of philosophy and politics, as well as some absolutely sumptuous sets. Based on Tagore's novella 'Nastanirh', which itself was based on Tagore's own attraction to his brother's wife, 'Charulata' tells the tale of the growing attraction between a cousin (Amal, played by Soumitra Chatterjee) who visits a newspaper publisher (Shailen Mukherjee), and the publisher's wife, Charulata (Madhabi Mukherjee). The pair are encouraged to spend time together by the publisher, who loves his wife but is too busy with his job to spend time with her, and the feelings they begin to have are subtle and begin with discussions of writing. There are some nice moments with Amal singing to Charulata, as well as a fantastic scene with her swinging while he lays in the grass beside her. This is a subtle, deft, perfectly told story; the betrayal is contained to emotions, not physical acts, and is more powerful as a result. All of the actors turn in excellent performances, and Ray's direction is brilliant. The philosophical moments elevate the film ala Bergman, and here are a couple of quotes: "I was thinking all of life is like a rhythm. Birth...death. Day...night. Happiness...sorrow. Meeting...parting. Like the waves on the ocean, now rising...now falling. One complements the other." "Even as Prince Abhimanyu, while still in the womb, learned only how to penetrate enemy formations, but not how to withdraw. So a river, emerging from the mountain's rocky womb, can only advance and knows not how to turn back. O river! O youth! O time! O world! You too can only march onward. You never turn back along the path strewn with memory's gilded pebbles. Only the mind of man looks back. The rest of creation never does."

Antonius Block
Antonius Block

Super Reviewer

½

[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

½

In-laws. Gotta watch out for 'em. They'll get ya.

Tom S.
Tom S.

Super Reviewer

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