Jalsaghar (The Music Room) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Jalsaghar (The Music Room) Reviews

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½ June 17, 2016
While the beginning may seem slow and disjointed (especially if you are not accustomed to Eastern films), there is no mistaking the mental & moral spiraling in the final half hour. Being insulated with status quo is rarely healthy.
May 24, 2016
If you take away the film's subliminal callbacks to King Lear, The Music Room just doesn't stand up by today's standards.
Super Reviewer
½ December 10, 2015
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!
Super Reviewer
½ November 10, 2015
Ray exhibits a complete and enviable control of his camera behind this sumptuous drama that deserves credit even more for its elegant, classic direction and noteworthy formal rigor than for an impeccable narrative about a proud, stubborn man who refuses to become obsolete.
November 2, 2015
It's both critical and sympathetic of the main character (Roy). And that is what makes it so engrossing and ultimately heartbreaking.
½ December 28, 2014
A pretty good story of poverty and prosperity. However, the amount of music in this film is probably the most you would hear in an Indian film without it actually being of the "Bollywood" ilk.
November 13, 2014
One of the most outstanding movies I have ever seen.
July 10, 2014
A long time ago, I was mesmerized by footage of Roshan Kumari dancing on television -- which turned out to be a clip from Satyajit Ray's The Music Room. When I finally saw the complete film, I wrote: "Another tale of the fading landed gentry superseded by the nouveau riche, but Satyajit Ray's film is made ecstatic by the intense Indian classical music, the chiaroscuro lighting, and the decadence and decay on display." However, there are so many sublime moments of musical performance (diegetic and non-diegetic) and such a melancholy air to the proceedings that this film (and Ray himself) must be elevated to the pantheon.
½ April 15, 2014
in this slow-paced masterpiece, Satyajit Ray shows us a man's self-destruction process, driven by his own pride and stubbornness. Biswas' performance as a landlord is unforgettable.
January 5, 2014
Perhaps the greatest of all Indian films
December 11, 2013
A deeply affectionate celebration of music while balancing with masterful cinematography and a captivating performance by Biswas. The emotional tension in the film grows consistently and plays heavily onto the heart.
September 7, 2013
watched this years ago and it was great.
Super Reviewer
June 18, 2013
Top class Indian actors, Satyajit Ray's impeccable direction, music and dance intertwine in a tale of moral decay overwhelmed by the heavy weight of material shallowness. Chhabi Biswas deserves full credit as the nobleman that longs for a past that is long gone and wishes everything around him, even family blood, to be destroyed so that his external circumstances can satisfy his perception of reality and his interpretation of past memories for his persona. Jalsagharcomes out todat as a multi-layered masterpiece of self-destruction as a downward spiral.

Full review coming someday...

May 11, 2013
A melancholic film which encapsulates the changes in the class system that are were brought by the onset of the technological revolution. One man sits in his castle contemplating his past as everything crumbles around him.
May 8, 2013
Depicts well the dying vestiges of feudalism in Indian society, but it's woefully short of even a simple pace to allow the audience to fully appreciate and engage with the complex main character.
July 11, 2012
Increasingly eerie, downright beautiful and outstanding cinematography. This film has a deep character study and a quite simple story. But this story allows us to absorb the beauty of the film and the emotions and pleasures of our lead character, Huzur Roy. This film is a masterpiece, with some oddly entertaining music (which I never would have thought I would like).
½ May 4, 2012
An aristocratic landlord hanging on to his old way of life re-opens his Music Room for one last moment of glory. This is my first non-Apu Satyajit Ray film and it's a great one. It really is a sad, melancholy film but also oddly life-affirming in its own strange way. It's also filled with wonderful, exciting and beautiful visuals of a lifestyle people outside of India and outside of that particular society seldom see.
April 23, 2012
The works of Satyajit Ray, theoretically India's most celebrated film director worldwide, are still today mostly unseen even by cinephiles. Most of what I know about the great humanist I learned by reading about him, and before I saw this film recently for the first time I felt I knew its themes intimately. Yet when I actually sat down to experience the film for myself, I found myself hypnotized by the kinds of things that even the greatest critics in the world cannot possibly describe. From its opening credits, which feature the mesmerizing sounds of a sitar accompanied by a slow zoom on a dark chandelier, Ray makes it clear that he means to cast a spell on us. As the film progresses, it becomes apparent that what he wants is to put us in a more serene and innocent state of mind, to relax and seduce us so that we may experience his film as a child would experience a fairy tale. The simple narrative finds on the roof of his lavish house aged nobleman Huzur Biswambhar Roy, played with graceful sluggishness by Chhabi Biswas (a brilliant performance- one I couldn't possibly imagine done by anyone but Biswas) Like us, Roy is in some kind of trance, but his is one of boredom and sadness, or possibly nihilism. He has been heavily sedated by life's cruelties, as we are soon to find out in an extended flashback sequence, and has resorted to indulging himself to solitude, accompanied only by his faithful servant and his hookah. At that moment, he begins to hear music, and this triggers a story told via sensation. It is astonishing, the way that Ray effortlessly ties or sympathy to Roy based solely on our shared sense of hearing; we feel an addictive joy when we hear music, we feel worry as the sounds of a growing storm become louder outside, we become suspicious and scared when we hear nothing. Yet despite Ray's dependence on the soundscape of the film, its images manage to be among the most beautiful I have ever seen. At the time of this review, it has been over three years since I had my first encounter with a Satyajit Ray film- 'Pather Panchali'- and I have been unable to shake the wonder and tragedy of those sequences from my conscious. Yet these are even more wondrous; they are built with a simplicity and a rich elegance, painted in bold, high-contrast black and white. My viewing experience became a rediscovery of the way in which film can expose textures and moods, and I found the aesthetics so overwhelming that I found myself distracted at times. This is one of those indescribable and totally unique movies, one that seems constructed from instinct by a man who was born to tell stories.
½ March 26, 2012
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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