Subrata Mazumdar, an unassuming employee of a bank in Calcutta, has problems providing for the needs of his family. Against established custom and the reproofs of her father-in-law, a retired professor, his wife Arati looks for a job. She finds work selling sewing machines door-to-door. When she proves successful in her work and gains untraditional self-confidence, her husband is unable to accept the situation and would love for her to quit. As the result of a crisis at the bank, however, he loses his job and his wife’s work becomes even more essential. Arati establishes a friendship with a colleague, an Anglo-Indian woman, and takes her side when she is unjustly punished by their boss. On the strength of her convictions, Arati is willing to sacrifice her own job and her family’s needs as an expression of solidarity with her friend. The film ends with a more equal re-alignment of the relationship between Arati and her husband. –Satyajit Ray Film and Study Center
Satyajit Ray is one of cinema’s truest Renaissance men. In addition to his films, he is a reputed writer of short stories, a music composer (scores for his own films and other film-makers, notably Merchant-Ivory’s Shakespeare Wallah) and a painter and graphic designer of considerable skill. Appropriately enough, Ray derived from a background of great culture, the son of poet Sukumar Ray who died when he was three years old. His interest in fine arts, literature and painting led him to reside at Rabindranath Tagore’s Santiniketan (an intellectual retreat for artists and thinkers) for a significant period of time. Ray’s true love however was the cinema. The cinema of 30s Hollywood, which included Fred Astaire musicals and comedies by Ernst Lubitsch; Russian films he devoured in repeated viewings at the Calcutta Film Society (which he co-founded in 1947) and later the Italian neorealist films which he discovered in London.
At the time of the Second World War, and the final period of… read more
Very charming film that simply grabs the viewer and ushers you into the life of people seemingly so different from your own. However, the differences are superficial and the common stream of humanity pulses through this delightful movie. The astonishing expressiveness in Madhabi Mukherjee’s face as she moves through the challenges of her life is a revelation.