Best Movies by Farr
Charulata Poster
Released Runtime Category
1964 118 Drama, Romance, Foreign Language
Director Language
Satyajit Ray Bengali
Shailen Mukherjee, Madhabi Mukherjee, Soumitra Chatterjee


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What's it About

In Calcutta of the late 1870s, Bhupati (Mukherjee) devotes most of his waking hours to his fledging, political newspaper and neglects his beautiful wife Charu (Mukherjee). Sensing Charu’s boredom, he invites her brother and wife to come visit. His cousin Amal, a poet (Chatterjee) also shows up and Bhupati asks him to help Charu hone her writing skills. As the months go by, Charu starts to develop feelings for Amal despite the social strictures of the time.

Why we love it

Ray’s rich melodrama gives us a study of conflicting desire: sexual, cultural and political. Even as Bhupati’s paper criticizes British rule, his home suggests a man in thrall to that country’s customs. The stagnant marital relationship is reinforced by the interior locations (all shot on sets), and the languorous pace, as Charu keenly watches passersby in the street from her gilded cage. By contrast, Ray’s camera frees up when Charu swings in the garden, watching Amal as he writes. For this, Ray won the Best Director award at the Berlin Film Festival for the second consecutive year. He considered “Charulata” his best work; you may too!

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"