Jalsaghar [The music room] (1958)

The concentrated intro perfectly captures the inevitability of this slowly unfolding elegy: energetic music accompanying the zooming in on a large ceiling chandelier precariously swinging in the dark. And then, an old man’s tired face, eyes half-closed.

Isolated and lethargic, an aristocrat sits lost in memories of bygone splendor, well aware of his crumbling little empire and that his power dwindles day by day, but incapable to do anything about it. Elephants, horses and musical recitals are replaced by trucks and electrical machines. Even nature itself betrays him, sparing only shreds and remnants in his slowly vanishing world of inheritance and nobility.

Covers concepts such as dignity, class, and change – all symbolically commented on by the meandering, telling music. Different, heavy, and sad – in my book.

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