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Charulata (The Lonely Wife)

Charulata (The Lonely Wife)
By HT Correspondent | PTI
PUBLISHED ON JUL 15, 2005 03:54 PM IST

Direction, Music: Satyajit Ray

Screenplay: Satyajit Ray, based on the novel The Broken Nest (Nastanirh) by Rabindranath Tagore
Cinematography: Subrata Mitra
Editing: Dulal Dutta
Principal Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee, Sailen Mukherjee, Syamal Ghosal
Production: R D Bansal Productions (India)

Year: 1964
35 mm 
Format:  Colour
Length: 117 mins


Charulata 
is an exquisitely shot, haunting, and emotionally complex film on the nature of human relationships. Set in Calcutta in the late 19th century when the Bengal Renaissance was at its peak and India still under the British rule, the story revolves around Charulata, the intelligent and lonely wife of Bhupati.

Bhupati, an upper class Bengali intellectual with a keen interest in politics and the freedom movement, is a newspaper editor and publisher. He senses her boredom, and invites her brother Umapada and his wife to live with them. Amal, Bhupati`s cousin comes on a visit.

Bhupati asks him to encourage Charu`s cultural interests. As Amal shares her interest in literature and provides her with intellectual companionship, an intimate relationship develops between them. At the heart of the conflict are these three well-intentioned protagonists - Bhupati, Charulata, and Amal - who love and respect one another, but realise that their individual actions have led to an unforeseeable, yet inevitable emotional betrayal.

Awards:
President's Gold Medal, New Delhi, 1964
Silver Bear, Berlin, 1965
Catholic Award, Berlin, 1965
Best Film, Acapulco, 1965

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