With The Music Room (Jalsaghar), Satyajit Ray brilliantly evokes the crumbling opulence of the world of a fallen aristocrat (the beloved actor Chhabi Biswas) desperately clinging to a fading way of life.
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This remains, for me, Satyajit Ray's greatest film. The music is so engaging; in fact, it's possible my love for the film is largely due to the soundtrack. I've always been drawn to films that use music as a source of narrative.
Spellbinding. Let's forget the analytical point of view: first and foremost this film really captures the magic of music. Not a masterpiece this time around, but it's a haunting film, and those tend to grow on me. A-
A parable about family and pride, and the importance of balancing the two. There are many powerful scenes as well as hypnotic and transcendent ones. His ability to conjure strong and powerful emotion seems to be Ray’s best tool, and he utilizes it well here, making you feel the emotional blows. Very good overall, but not as affecting as The Big City.
Biswambhar Roy's Rosebud is material prestige, a chandelier. The action is too tedious and dry to give his pride purpose. There's substance in the photography, treatment of space, and musical performances (the sarangi/tabla/vocal interplay was spectacular), but not enough to uphold the film's reputation. Renoir's touch better suited these issues.
Not only do I love the direction and music - but that palace had such a beautiful flow to it. Apart from the crumbling of the family inhabiting it and the tragedy surrounding it, it is such a beautiful home to inhabit as the viewer for the duration of the film. You can almost smell the sea from the balcony at which the aristocrat sits in his armchair. The film's short and sweet and I enjoyed/believed every moment.
I watched this movie again on a whim this morning. I can't quite place it, but the power of its evocations is tremendous. The whole thing is steeped in a remarkable sense of melancholy and it's impossible not to feel anything by the time the credits roll.