Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Big City

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Aug. 20, 2013
Price: DVD $29.99, Blu-ray $39.99
Studio: Criterion

The Big City movie scene

Madhabi Mukherjee takes a job to help support her family in The Big City.

The 1963 drama The Big City is set in mid-1950s Calcutta and directed by the legendary Satyajit Ray (The Music Room).

The film follows the personal triumphs and frustrations of middle-class surburban housewife Arati (Madhabi Mukherjee), who decides, despite the initial protests of her bank-clerk husband, to take a job to help support their family.

With remarkable sensitivity and attention to the details of everyday working-class life, Ray gradually builds a powerful human drama that is at once a hopeful morality tale and a commentary on the identity of the contemporary Indian woman.

Ray won considerable praise for his work on Mahanagar (as the movie is known in its native Bengali), winning the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 14th Berlin International Film Festival.

Presented in Bengali with English subtitles, the Blu-ray and DVD of the film contain the following features:

• New 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
• New interview with actor Madhabi Mukherjee
Satyajit Ray and the Modern Woman, a new interview program featuring Ray historian Suranjan Ganguly
The Coward (1965), a feature film directed by Ray that also addresses modern female identity and stars Mukherjee and Soumitra Chatterjee
• New English subtitle translation
• A booklet featuring an essay by scholar Chandak Sengoopta and an interview with Ray from the 1980s by his biographer Andrew Robinson


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.