Jalsaghar (The Music Room)
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After completing his widely acclaimed Pather Panjali and Aparajito, the first two films in his "Apu Trilogy," Bengali director Satyajit Ray squeezed in time for this modest drama before finishing his trilogy in 1959 with The World of Apu. Possibly analogous to a broader picture of existence or even modern India, this compelling tale traces the deteriorating life of an old country nobleman. He lives in the past, in a slowly decaying villa, and cannot adjust to the fast-changing, vastly different modern world that surrounds him on all sides. Melancholy and inward-turning, he remembers… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Ray's social insight is not dimmed by treating his subject in this distant, allegorical manner; if anything it's intensified by the closer focus he's able to train on his characters."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"It's a fascinating snapshot of Indian culture in the 1930s, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of an inflated opinion of self-worth."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"This production is an extraordinary mixture of distinctive Bengali culture and universal themes of emotional loss."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"[Satyajit Ray's] most accomplished film up that time and many critics still hold it as the director's masterpiece."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies Online
"Moving look at the power of music, shot with a rich visual style."
‑ Michael E. Grost, Classic Film and Television
"Slow, rapt and hypnotic, it is -- given some appreciation of Indian music -- a remarkable experience."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"A wonderful tale of pride and the fools it makes of men."
‑ Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
"It's a full-on Shakespearean tragedy that manages to be both critical of and sympathetic to its main character."
‑ Sean Gandert, Paste Magazine
"both a nuanced psychological portrait of an aristocrat in decline and a showcase for India's best musical talent"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"Like a lotus flower, Satyajit Ray's Jalsagbar (The Music Room) gently reveals its enigmatic central character"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"For all its exotic stimulations, it is an exceedingly simple, moving film, expressing a human dilemma that should be comprehensible to all."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Newly available on video at last in a high-quality print, it is the story of a man who has been compared to King Lear because of his pride, stubbornness, and the way he loses everything that matters."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A remarkable film."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A surprisingly sympathetic elegy for the feudal class, or at least one of its sad representatives...the notion of lost legacy informs the film's distraught last word: 'blood.' [Blu-ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"One of my favorite films, The Music Room bathes its viewers in Indian culture while remaining universally accessible with its masterful photography and stunning music."
‑ Gabe Leibowitz, Film and Felt
More reviews for Jalsaghar (The Music Room) on Rotten Tomatoes