Satyajit Ray’s depiction of women in films


Satyajit Ray, the great filmmaker is a legend of all times. His films are praised even today. His first film, Pather Panchali has won 11 international prizes and as time passed, an element of brilliance was added to his movies. His work tells us about the different genres he worked with. From romance to thriller to satire, Satyajit Ray excelled in all genres. His characters were realistically portrayed and he did not shy away from depicting the real world. His strong female characters can be seen even today. They were not confined to the walls of their room but they fearlessly expressed their emotions, their sexual desires, and conflicts. His work was always detailed and his movies left the audience around the globe awestruck.

Check out six movies made by Satyajit Ray that proves he understood female mindset better than any other filmmaker.


  • Pather Panchali

Satyajit Ray's depiction of women in films

The most gripping movie of Apu’s trilogy, Pather Panchali tells us about the life of Apu and his elder sister Durga. Their mother Sarbajaya is like any other village woman who combats the struggles of her life bravely. Her character comes alive in the film.


  • Devi

Satyajit Ray's depiction of women in films

 Dayamoyee, a rural Bengali character, played by Sharmila Tagore, is labelled as a goddess because her father-in-law dreams so. Daya is only 17 but she is forced to believe she is a goddess. It is a touching tale of superstition and mysticism.


  • Charulata

Satyajit Ray's depiction of women in films

Charutala is a movie way ahead of its times. It is about a housewife who lives a simple yet boring life. As a result, she falls for her brother-in-law and does not fret expressing her desire for her. The movie is a beautiful description about the complications of life and does not tag Charutala as a loose character.


  • Teen Kanya

Satyajit Ray's depiction of women in films
A set of short films released in the 1960s,Teen Kanya is based on three different female protagonists. The first story Postmaster narrates the emotions of Ratan, a housekeeper who serves her boss. The second story, Monihara, tells us about a woman who is so obsessed with her jewels that her greed kills her. The third story, Sampati is about a childish girl who is married off.


  • Seemabaddha

Satyajit Ray's depiction of women in films

The movie revolves around the female protagonist Tutul, who comes to the city to meet his sister and brother in law and though she seems impressed with the lifestyle, she is disgusted with its shallowness.


  • Mahanagar

Satyajit Ray's depiction of women in films

 Jaya Bachchan’s debut film, Mahanagar unleashes the story of Aarti Mazumdar, who goes against the wishes of her family and finds a job as a salesman. The film is about a brave woman who defies all social norms and chooses the path which she thinks is right for her.

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Alisha is a journalist from Mumbai. She is a self learner and an voracious reader. Writing and listening to music will never bore her!