Friday, March 27, 2015

The Music Room Review

Satyajit Ray is one of those names that has always been somehow both on and off my radar simultaneously despite his status as cinematic royalty. When I heard his name, various titles of his films would immediately pop into my head, yet I had never pulled the trigger on actually sitting down and enjoying one. The time has finally come when I changed that and The Music Room seemed like a fine place to start.

Exquisitely crafted from start to finish, even with the small sample size of his career achievements I instantly could tell why the work of Ray continues to be so highly regarded to this day. The Music Room tells the story of Biswambhar Roy (Chhabi Biswas), a man who leads a lavish lifestyle and he enjoys every bit of it, using the music room in his home to bring people in and inflate his already massive ego. As the culture in India begins to change, Roy is unwilling to adapt and continues to spend his dwindling fortune on this one room, a fleeting attempt to maintain relevance and power while the world around him moves in a different direction.

Unfortunately while much of the film had me completely invested in the world created by Ray, I would at times lose focus when music was being performed, as I expected these to be only brief sequences inside a picture only roughly 90 minutes in length. They were far from brief, lingering on and on and my mind would drift away. However, The Music Room would earn my attention right back in a hurry as what would follow would be perfectly acted, gorgeously shot cinema.

For a long time I kept Satyajit Ray on the outskirts, refusing to let him in. Opening the doors to The Music Room was a wise decision.


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