Original name: Devi
English name: The Goddess
Run time: 99 min
Type (Colour/ Black & white): Black & White
Director: Satyajit Ray
Producer: Satyajit Ray
Cast: Sharmila Tagore, Soumitra Chatterjee, Chhabi Biswas, Purnendu Mukherjee, Karuna Banerjee, Arpan Chowdhury, Anil Chatterjee, Kali Sarkar
Screenplay: Satyajit Ray
Cinematographer: Subrata Mitra
Editor: Dulal Dutta
Sound Designer: Durgadas Mitra
Music Composer: Ustad Ali Akbar Khan
Production Designer: Bansi Chandragupta
Production Company: Satyajit Ray Productions
Satyajit Ray is perhaps the most influential director to work in Indian cinema and captivate the world with its magic. Influenced by the poetic humanism of Jean Renoir and the Italian neorealist movement, Ray made his debut Pather Panchali—the first instalment of his acclaimed Apu Trilogy. Over the course of a long, remarkably varied career that encompassed forays into a wide array of genres—including period pieces, comedies, detective mysteries, and documentaries—Ray applied his compassionate, lyrical vision to explorations of female liberation (Mahanagar, Charulata), the clash between tradition and modernity (Jalsaghar), and the impact of British colonialism (Shatranj Ke Khiladi). Overflowing with humanity, humour, and exquisite visual imagery, Ray’s films are nothing short of essential.
The film explores the conflict between fanaticism and free will, issuing a subversively modern challenge to religious orthodoxy and patriarchal power structures. In rural India in the second half of the nineteenth century, after his son leaves for Kolkata to complete his studies, a wealthy feudal landlord is seized by the notion that his beloved daughter-in-law is an incarnation of the Mother Goddess—a delusion that proves devastating to the young woman and those around her.