There have been a few distinct and unique female characters in the cinema of Satyajit Ray. In the 3rd episode of Ray@100 Video Lecture Series, Silhouette editor Amitava Nag looks at Arati of Mahanagar and the women characters in The Calcutta Trilogy.
There have been a few distinct and unique female characters in the cinema of Satyajit Ray. There are significant mother figures as Indir Thakrun and Srabajaya in the Apu Trilogy apart from a few others in the later films. There are heroines as well, wives mostly, in Ray’s classics including Charulata, Mahanagar, Ashani Sanket, Teen Kanya and others. In addition there are a few ‘daughter’ characters in the form of Durga (Pather Panchali), Manisha (Kanchenjungha), Neelima (Mahapurush), Indrani (Ganashatru) and Anila (Agantuk) and daughters-in-law viz. Jaya (Aranyer Din Ratri), Kamala (Jana Aranya) and Uma, Tapati (Shakha Prasakha) to name some. In a few case Ray’s camera had observed the repressed sexual desires of his female characters and their quests for love beyond marital boundaries.
In this video lecture, Silhouette editor Amitava Nag looks at Arati of Mahanagar and the women characters in The Calcutta Trilogy. While Arati represents a lack of personal desire for service of the larger familial and social expectations, Sutapa or Kauna of the trilogy stand for desire of the self. Ray uses mirror and window as two metaphorical tools to bring out the aspects of the desiring and confident woman of middleclass Bengali household in the ’70s. In the final take whereas the men become victims of middleclass morality and constraints, the female characters are strong-willed and confident, they go out to work and to win the choices that life has to offer them with.
Silhouette editor Amitava Nag explores several such interesting and unique elements of the DESIRING WOMAN in Ray’s cinema in the THIRD episode of RAY@100 Lecture Series Brought to you by Silhouette. Watch this space for more episodes!
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