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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Melodrama of Everyday Life, 23 May 2003
The film is based on a second-grade melodramatic novel, which you read with tears in your eyes, but forget on the next day. Because, there is nothing extra-ordinary in the storyline. It only narrates the story of our everyday defeat, only magnify them for the sake of the melodrama. But after seeing this film, you can not ignore the cry of the female protanist, her face, her so-called 'sacrifice' for just keep the things moving in the lower-middle-class set-up any more. This is a film ridden with symbols from typical Bengali cultural milieu, which is sometimes too heavy to comprehend. This is not a film that can be enjoyed. In fact, that is not the purpose of the film. If you really keen to know about the reality of any third-world country, then you should see this film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow, but not without rewards, 1 Nov 2011
This review is from: The Cloud Capped Star [1960] [DVD] (DVD)
Rural Indian countrysides with occasional splashes of the city grace the film, as do nice camera angles and a black and white film which is surely the artistry of another era (1960) - not a bad thing at all. Some of the songs in the movie are nice. Occasionally the movie drags a bit and is long at 2 hours. DVD transfer is acceptable for the age of the film. It's presented in a full screen format and there does seem to be a bit of cropping on the edges. In Bengali with English subtitles.

In terms of content, a drawback for me is the movie's melodramatic edge, found mostly in Khuki's occasionally overdone martyresque expressions. Granted she's carrying the weight of her whole family financially with her work, while her brother sings in the fields awaiting his big debut in another two years, her boyfriend doing research for his university studies (until he gets a job), and with her father and mother incapacitated. It probably would have been all the more powerful without its tinge of melodrama on the part of Khuki herself, but as the movie openly proclaims itself to be such a film, this shouldn't have come as a shock. Overdone acting or not however, her life is not an easy one.

Khukhi, the protagonist is more attractive than her somewhat garish younger sister, who Khuki's boyfriend later falls for, and which hurts all the more when he gets a good job as well. You can't blame him completely though. He's a young man. He does originally propose to Khuki who prefers to wait another 2 years before leaving her family to join his, and to keep earning money which will support her own family - her brother certainly won't do it. Part of the blame then would seem to lie in Khuki's own choices. If nothing else, I think this movie promotes a healthy sense of feminism in that one can learn from Khuki's mistakes - if mistakes they were. Bottom line seems to be that ambition for your own life and selflessly living for others don't always mesh perfectly, as this movie demonstrates in excruciatingly slow detail the first good half of the movie. It does seem to pick up pace towards the last stretch. 3 stars is for the entertainment value of the film, not so much the artistry of the film-making which rates higher. For that I add an extra star. Camera work and subject placement, coupled with unique sound effects, and the occasional genuine sense of pathos put this movie in a category beyond ordinary 'melodrama'.

The DVD has a couple short extras which include a brief look at the director, Ghatak (a contemporary of Satyajit Ray) and the times he was living in, the partition of Bangladesh from Indian Bengal. The story was shot around Calcutta and perhaps the foothills of the eastern Himalaya.
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The Cloud Capped Star [1960] [DVD]
The Cloud Capped Star [1960] [DVD] by Ritwik Ghatak (DVD - 2002)
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