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Directed by Satyajit Ray
Produced by RDB Productions
Written by Satyajit Ray
Rabindranath Tagore (novella)
Starring Soumitra Chatterjee,
Madhabi Mukherjee,
Sailen Mukherjee,
Syamal Ghosal
Distributed by Edward Harrison
Release date(s) 1964
Running time 117 min
Language Bengali

Charulata (Bengali: চারুলতা), sometimes released in the English-speaking world as The Lonely Wife, is a 1964 film by Bengali director Satyajit Ray, based upon the novella Nastanirh ("The Broken Nest") by Rabindranath Tagore. It features Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee and Sailen Mukherjee.


Plot summary

The film tells the story of a lonely housewife, known as Charu (Madhabi Mukherjee), who lives a wealthy, secluded and idle life in 1870's Calcutta. Her husband, Bhupati (Sailen Mukherjee), runs a newspaper, The Sentinel, and spends more time at work than with his wife. However, he notices that Charu is lonely, and asks his cousin, Amal (Soumitra Chatterjee), to keep her company. Amal is a writer and is asked to help Charu with her own writing. However, after some time, Charu and Amal's feelings for each other move beyond those of a mentoring relationship.


Charulata won Satyajit Ray his second Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1964. He had won the same award in the previous year with Mahanagar. Charulata also won the Golden Lotus Award for Best Film at the National Film Awards in 1965.


Reversal of the gaze, Charulata (Madhabi Mukherjee), sitting on her swing and looking at Amal

The film contains a famous scene in which Charu (Madhabi Mukherjee) sings Rabindranath Tagore's song "Fule Fule Dhole Dhole" on a swing, while looking at Amal (Soumitra Chatterjee). The scene is referenced in the Bollywood film Parineeta during the song sequence, Soona Man Ka Aangan. Indeed, Parineeta 's Lalita (Vidya Balan) is dressed to resemble Nashtanir/Charulata 's Charu. Furthermore, Parineeta is based upon the novel Parineeta by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay who was a noted contemporary of Tagore (and who also wrote novels concerned with social reform) [1], [2].

Further reading

External links



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