Jalsaghar (The Music Room) (1958)

Jalsaghar (The Music Room)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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 … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Musical & Performing Arts, Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By: Tarashankar Banerjee, Satyajit Ray
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 19, 2011


as Huzur Biswambhar Roy

as Mahim Ganguly

as Roy's Servant

as Mahamaya Roy's wife

as Khoka Roy's Son

as Manager of Roy's Est...
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Jalsaghar (The Music Room)

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (6)

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.

Full Review… | July 19, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

For all its exotic stimulations, it is an exceedingly simple, moving film, expressing a human dilemma that should be comprehensible to all.

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

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

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Jalsaghar (The Music Room)

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 :)

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!

Chris Browning
Chris Browning

Super Reviewer


I don't like American music that much, much less the shrieking of foreigners. With that bit of my racism out of the way, the story and theme are familiar: man has it all but eventually exits Earth with nothing but a concussion.

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