The Householder

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The Householder
The Householder, 1963 English film.jpg
DVD cover art
Directed by James Ivory
Produced by Ismail Merchant
Written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
James Ivory
Starring Shashi Kapoor
Leela Naidu
Durga Khote
Music by Ustad Ali Akbar Khan
Cinematography Subrata Mitra
Edited by Pran Mehra
Distributed by Royal Films International
Release dates
  • 1963 (1963)
Running time 101 minutes
Country India
Language English

The Householder (Hindi title: Gharbar) (1963) is a film by Merchant Ivory Productions, with a screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and James Ivory, and direction of James Ivory. It is based upon the 1960 novel of the same name by Jhabvala.

This was the first collaboration between producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory, a documentary filmmaker till then. They went on to make nearly forty films together, many of which were written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who also adapted many adaptations of literary classics for them, like Henry JamesThe Europeans (1979) and The Bostonians (1984), E.M. Forster‘s A Room with a View (1986) and Howards End (1992), and Peter Cameron‘s The City of Your Final Destination (2009).

The film was shot entirely on location in Delhi, Mehrauli and Ghaziabad.[1] Satyajit Ray exerted an important influence both on Ivory and Merchant, as well as on this film. In an uncredited assist, he supervised the film's music production and re-cut the film for Merchant and Ivory. He also lent his cameraman, Subrata Mitra, as the director of photography, and as a result the film is infused with the fluid, restrained lyricism that characterizes Ray's work.[1][2]


Prem Sagar (Shashi Kapoor), a teacher at a private college in Delhi, is married to Indu (Leela Naidu) in an arranged marriage recently and is still learning ropes of relationships, when the arrival of Prem's mother (Durga Khote) spells doom to their budding relationship. Indu, unable to handle her interference in the marriage, leaves Prem to return to her family. Prem searches for answers from a variety of people, including a Swami (Pahari Sanyal), who reveals the secret of a successful marriage, as a result, he finally gains the maturity to love his wife.[3]




A Channel 4 review called it, “a low-key but rewarding character piece”, “an artful social satire and also a quietly affecting love story”,[4] while The New York Times was rather dismissive.[5]

Mike Clark, of USA Today, called it "...A charming comedy of marital discord...", gave it, 312 out of 4 stars.[1]


External links[edit]