Mahanagar (The Big City) (The Great City)

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Average Rating: 4.1/5

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Movie Info

Satyajit Ray, India's premiere film director, takes a rare foray into social satire with 1963's The Big City. Anil Chaterjee stars as the typically subjugated wife of an Indian bank official. When the banker loses his job, he orders Anil to find work to make ends meet. The wife subsequently runs the household finances so brilliantly that soon she is in the driver's seat, in direct opposition to long-established Indian matrimonial custom. Seen by some critics as a subtle plea for improving the status of Indian womanhood, The Big City was based on a novel by Narbenda Nath Mitra. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Critic Reviews for Mahanagar (The Big City) (The Great City)

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (6)

Audience Reviews for Mahanagar (The Big City) (The Great City)


[font=Century Gothic]In "Mahanagar," Subrata(Anil Chatterjee) is a bank manager but cannot afford to support his extended family which includes his aging parents(Haren Chatterjee & Sefalika Devi). His father is a former university professor who is envious of his former students' success while lacking eyeglasses which could help him win the crossword competition. Subrata is so desperate that he contradicts his conservative principles to suggest his wife, Arati(Madhabi Mukherjee), get a job, at least until he can get a second job himself...[/font] [font=Century Gothic]While "Mahanagar" is slow at times, it more than makes up for it with some classic moments, excellent character development and insights into the Indian society of the time the film was made. What writer-director Satyajit Ray is specifically interested in is pointing out that whereas once ethnicity was the ruling principle, it has now been superseded by class. For example, a woman of English descent is in the same boat as Arati, as they work together and bond over their jobs selling knitting machines to wealthy families. In a society as status obsessed as this, Subrata feels that men should be able to support their families without asking for help. But there are times when pride gives way in the face of economic realities. [/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

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