The Big City (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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1) The impact on the other family members - the loving but traditional husband, his orthodox parents, the young child (They all have reservation to some extent, and the only unequivocal supporter is the husband's kid sister, who sees it as a projection of her own ambitions)
2) The changes in the woman herself - how she grows from a shy house-bound wife to a more confident worldly-wise person.
Without any arty pretensions, but with the sharpness of observation and empathy towards the characters which are his strongest assets, Ray paints a very tangible portrait of this little personal revolution in the traditional family. Of course he is here immensely aided by the marvelous chemistry between the gorgeous Madhabi Mukherjee and Anil Chatterjee - their husband-wife relationship is a very credible and heartwarming picture of romance and friendship, mischief and responsibility. While some reality-obsessed curmudgeons may find the film's end unduly optimistic, it is a very well-placed happy ending, representing the never-say-die spirit of hope over adversity that keeps humanity alive. Ray's touch is very much evident in the screenplay and the visuals - many times, more is conveyed than said, with the use of beautiful visual metaphor or plain restraint, allowing the sensibility of the audience to fill in the gap. For this film he also composed the score, which is lovely and worth hearing on its own. All in all, highly recommended.Read more ›
Just a few words on the movie itself: it is middle of the road Ray. A veritable feminine triumph story but in Ray's hands, it is curiously ambivalent. The heroine would rather stay home and take care of her son than be out in the wilderness of Calcutta's fashion world selling cosmetics. Her husband's (Anil Chatterji) attitude changes within moments of his losing his job. His acting is the worst part of the movie: and significantly he never appeared in another Ray movie. On the other hand, Madhabi remains Ray's greatest triumph (yes, more than Sharmila) in this and Charulata.
Great crieterion disc; and a far from Satyajit's top movies.
By the way, the short Kapurush movie is a masterpiece. It lingers in memory. Madhabi and Soumitra with their understated charms and acting make it a top class Ray.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Marvelous! I have seen it various times, but still find that I enjoy it. Marvelous photography.Published 1 month ago by balam
I have tried 14 million ways to get this bloody Criterion CD to work in my Blue Ray disc player but NO, once again, I will never get to see this Bloody... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kathleen C.
Close to top-flight Ray, marred only by a curious Hollywood ending.Published 15 months ago by P. Muncie
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