Big screen classics

The Big City

Mahanagar

Ray’s meticulously observed, gently satirical tale of a wife deciding to go out to work despite her family’s disapproval in ’50s Calcutta.

Image from Mahanagar

India 1963
Dir Satyajit Ray
With Madhabi Mukherjee, Anil Chatterjee, Ha-radhan Banerjee
135min
Digital
English subtitles
Certificate PG

In mid-50s Calcutta, due to economic turmoil, a woman decides to take a job as a door-to-door salesperson, much to the disapproval of her husband and, even more, his traditionalist family. Social comment, gentle satire and Ray’s sure sense of dramaturgy and moral nuance combine to delicious effect; with his regular cinematographer Subrata Mitra, he relished shooting in his native city.