The Eyes Have It!
- Charulata review by TE
This is a master-class in film direction, full of superb detail but with nothing spare or unconnected to the artful narrative.
Shot in a beautiful, creamy black-and-white, this is a film that comes close to cinematic perfection. The lighting, the acting, the subtleties of the story itself, all combine to produce a wonderfully satisfying work of art.
Not content with simply reproducing the Tagore story, Ray introduces several brilliant flourishes: the opening sequence using the opera-glasses, the scene on the swing in the garden, and the final freeze-frame are just the most obvious examples.
The personal emotions are set within a historical context, but it is the love story that cooks within the crucible of the beautifully styled house that matters most.
And above all else is the non-verbal acting of Madhabi Mukherjee, whose eyes express more in a single shot than most actors can manage in a lifetime (forgive the hyperbole...just watch 'Charulata' and you'll see what I mean!).
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