Satyajit Ray and Charulata

Satyajit Ray



Wednesday 23 June, 7pm

The great Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray was born on the 2nd of May 1921 and to celebrate his centenary our final Zoom event before the summer break will look at one of his most celebrated films, Charulata (The Lonely Wife, India 1964). This is a literary adaptation based on a novella by the major figure of Bengali culture, the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

Ray was well-placed to adapt Tagore, coming from a similar background to the writer and having already made a documentary about him released in 1961, Tagore’s own centenary. Charulata is set in the 1880s in an upper-class Bengali household. The lonely wife is Charu, played by Mandabi Mukherjee as a beautiful and intelligent but neglected woman whose husband Bhupati is the publisher-editor of a political newspaper.

Events in the household develop with visits from other family members, including Amul, Bhupati’s younger cousin played by Soumitra Chatterjee, Ray’s familiar leading man across many of his best-known films.

Charulata is said to have been Ray’s personal favourite among his films and it is currently streaming on All4. Detailed notes on the film will be available before our discussion at 7pm on Wednesday 23rd June.

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