117 mins, b/w
Charulata, one of Ray's undoubted masterpieces, is adapted from Nastanirh,a story by Rabindranath Tagore.
It is an exquisitely shot, sublimely haunting, and emotionally complex film on the nature of human relationships.
At the heart of the conflict are three well-intentioned, sympathetic protagonists - Bhupati, Charulata, and Amal - who clearly love and respect each other, but realize that their individual actions have led to an unforeseeable, yet inevitable emotional betrayal. Satyajit Ray does not dilute the gravity of the situation with an act of adultery or violence, but with the subtle gaze of crushing realization and the heartbreaking weight of consequence.
Set in the Calcutta of 1879, the period of the Bengal Renaissance, the period is meticulously created - the costumes, the heavy Victorian furniture, the wallpaper, the typography of Charu's husband's journal.
The film boasts of some of Ray's most cinematic sequences and the music sets the tone of the film with remarkable use of musical motifs. Amal serenades Charu with the famous Tagore song Ami Chini-Go-Chini. Two other popular Tagore songs, Momo Chittye and Phule Phule are evocative of the restless yearning of a free spirit aroused by the resonant beat in another, and Ray has Charu sing them at key junctures of progress in her relationship with Amal.
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