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This film by Satyajit Ray, India's most renowned filmmaker, tells the story of Charu (Madhabi Mukherjee), a woman in late 19th-century Calcutta. She is neglected by her busy husband, Bhupati (Shailen Mukherjee), a politically active newspaper publisher. When Bhupati's younger cousin Amal (Soumitra Chatterjee), a sensitive, intellectual student on break from the university, comes for an extended visit, Charu enjoys Amal's company, and the two while away the hours in conversation. But as their relationship grows closer, Charu falls in love with Amal. The film, based on a popular… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Ray recognizes the paradox that reformers are insulated from the people for whom they toil, but the movie is too stately and attenuated."
‑ Michael Sragow, New Yorker
"Certainly one of Ray's best films, with a superb music score of his own composition."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"Truly timeless."
‑ Philip Concannon, Little White Lies
"Pure genius, via India's master film artist Satyajit Ray."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"The reason Charulata is often talked about as one of Ray's best is that so much of the story is told through images alone."
‑ Noel Murray, The Dissolve
"You shouldn't miss this."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"To put it baldly, as the Ray camera could never do, the picture is an artistic masterpiece, impeccably performed, but diluted in impact and power by a stately, inchworm pace that accentuates a plot as old and familiar as the hills."
‑ Howard Thompson, New York Times
"Deliberately paced and painfully sad, this may not be the ideal first-date movie but its subtle power will get under your skin."
‑ David Parkinson, Empire Magazine
"One of the greatest joys of watching Ray's best films is the way he uses the "simplicity" of his cinematic style to convey the deepest of human emotions and leave us with a sense that the world might someday become a better place."
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"Subtitles become irrelevant during these times since the real content comes from the juxtapositions, the body postures, the side glances, and the facial expressions"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"Possibly more relaxed and leisurely than most Satyajit Ray films, Charulata nevertheless has a graciousness and dignity which impart an added sincerity to the simple, yet thoroughly acceptable story."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Extraordinarily vivid and fresh."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"So little's openly stated, so much implied - as in Ray's own wistfully romantic score."
‑ Philip Kemp, Total Film
"Madhabi Mukherjee was already an accomplished actress, but Charulata made her a beloved star. It's easy to understand why."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"What begins as a seemingly straightforward character study quickly develops into a scathing critique of the social hypocrisies of the Bengali Renaissance."
‑ Neel Chaudhuri, Senses of Cinema
More reviews for Charulata on Rotten Tomatoes