In one of his most enduring masterpieces, Satyajit Ray paired two of his favorite actors. Madhabi Mukherjee plays the childless Calcutta housewife Charulata, who feels neglected by her career-oriented husband. Soumitra Chatterjee (who appeared in fifteen of Ray’s films) is the husband’s dynamic cousin Amal, to whom Charulata develops a deep attachment. Encouraged by Amal to pursue her writing, Charulata undergoes an intellectual and sexual awakening that neither her husband nor late nineteenth-century Bengali society is quite ready for. Ray depicts his heroine’s growing self-awareness through subtle poetic shifts in visual composition and an uncharacteristically Bollywoodesque musical performance.