Time Out says
Indian master director Satyajit Ray once described 1964’s ‘Charulata’ as his favourite of his own films, and it’s easy to see why. This is a work of extraordinary grace, poise and intelligence whose closest parallel is probably ‘Brief Encounter’ – another film whose surface may be still, but under which an emotional undercurrent rages. In 1870s Calcutta, Charu (Madhabi Mukherjee), the frustrated wife of a wealthy newspaper editor (Soumitra Chatterjee), attempts to balance her own literary ambitions with her marital duties, an internal conflict that intensifies when her fun-loving cousin-in-law comes to visit. Shot almost entirely within a single location – a stately English-style house – the film feels caged and claustrophobic, with close-ups so intimate that you can almost feel the characters breathing. But that only makes the fleeting moments of liberation – Charu on a garden swing, scuffing her feet in the dust; the moment when literary inspiration strikes and she’s cast adrift into a world of sparkling memories – all the more vivid. This might be a perfect film.
Cast and crew