The life of a woman happily married to the son of an upper-class family in 19th century Bengal is turned upside down when her father-in-law has a vision that she is the Goddess Kali returned to earth. He convinces her to fulfill her role as a living deity and transform her house into a temple.
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For once Christianity is the faith of advanced apostasy, not of benumbing status quo; siding with science to combat superstition, as pointlessly as a hail cannon. An exotic alliance you seldom get to see if any time at all. I’ll have to consult Tagore to figure if tabooing up the teenage wife was family's terror-struck precaution to ease the vengeful blow of an enraged pantheon or the impotent fury of an aging father
Satyajit Ray tackles social issues with confidence and humanity that astounds and braves against societal norms. Here he boldly takes on the fault of blind faith, and possibly religion itself. Its impressive when a filmmaker can be so political and simultaneously show so much incredible sensitivity and honesty, telling personal stories of family as well as broad and deep stories of the world.
3-4. It would have been so powerful if Daya were able to call out her father-in-law, herself, but unfortunately she's limited by the society in which she exists (ultimately resulting in, presumably, her and her husband's withdrawal from it). Still, in spite of the clash needing to come from an active male agent, the film makes a number of powerful points about progress, society, and blind faith. I'll give it a pass.
This is a very honest and realistic film. Very few people have the guts to declare openly that the dogmas behind religion are well... nonsense. I do not know Ray's religious views, but it would be interesting to understand if he made this film in accordance to them or in spite of them.