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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: 96%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Film masterpieces, like our heart's desire, shouldn't elude us forever; Charulata is an experience every movie-lover should share."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"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
"An exquisitely traced drama of repressed desire, set in 1880 and shot in glowing, graphic black and white."
‑ Kate Muir, Times [UK]
"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
"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
"Beneath the straightened 19th- century values and Mukherjee's deft, delicate performance lies a drama that's fit to burst with political and colonial discourse, class, proto-feminist values, music, poetry and, most of all, love. All life is here."
‑ Tara Brady, Irish Times
"Truly timeless."
‑ Philip Concannon, Little White Lies
"Pure genius, via India's master film artist Satyajit Ray."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"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
"This sense of urgency is enhanced by the flexible, inventive visual style Ray uses to evoke mixed or shifting feelings."
‑ Jake Wilson, Sydney Morning Herald
"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
More reviews for Charulata on Rotten Tomatoes