To attempt to annex Satyajit Ray as the last Victorian would be absurd. But it isn't merely because Charulata is set in 1880, and full of references to Gladstone and Macaulay, to English politics and the rotundities of nineteenth century leader writers, that one is made aware of the connections. The film brings together the two characters who seem most thoroughly to arouse Ray's sympathies, and who have appeared most persistently in his films. And neither of them is, in Western terms, quite of the present day.
Amal …, the literary-minded cousin who awakens Charu, the editor-publisher's wife, from the lethargy of the long Indian afternoons, is a variation on Ray's eternal student, (p. 31)...
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