Devi (1960 film)

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Devi (1960).jpg
Directed bySatyajit Ray
Written bySatyajit Ray
StarringSoumitra Chatterjee
Sharmila Tagore
Music byUstad Ali Akbar Khan
CinematographySubrata Mitra
Edited byDulal Dutta
Release date
  • 19 February 1960 (1960-02-19)
Running time
93 minutes

Devi (English: The Goddess) is a 1960 Bengali drama film by director Satyajit Ray, starring Sharmila Tagore and Soumitra Chatterjee. It is based on a short story by Provatkumar Mukhopadhyay. The title means "Goddess".


In 19th-century rural Bengal, Dayamoyee (Sharmila Tagore) and her husband Umaprasad (Soumitra Chatterjee) live with Umaprasad's family. Umaprasad's elder brother and this brother's wife and their children (khoka) also live in that house. His father, Kalikinkar Choudhuri, is a devoted follower of the goddess Kali. Umaprasad went to Kolkata to teach in college and learn English,so his wife, Doyamoyi took care of his father in law.

One evening, Kalikinkar has a dream that shows eyes of devi kali and then face of Dayamoyee. And then Kalikinkar started to believe that Dayamoyee is an avatar of Kali. He wakes up and went to the feet of Dayamoyee considering her goddess. Following Kalikainker's gesture, his elder son also accepts doyamoyee as goddess. But the elder daughter in law doesn't belief it as she was really a logical person. She writes a letter to Umaprasad stating this dastric change of doyamoyee's situation. Soon Kalikinker starts to worship Doyamoyee officially and changes her room and lifestyles etc. Many people start to visit her and offer prayers and drink Charanamrito (water with which devi's foot is being washed). Then a man comes with his terminally ill son, and after drinking this Charanamrito, the son woke up. And these all coincidences lead Doyamoyee to believe that she herself is an goddess.Soon other people also come to believe that she is an incarnation of the goddess. After hearing the news, Umaprasad returns home but is unable to remedy the situation as Dayamoyee herself begins to believe that she is an avatar. He tries to escape with Doyamoyee to Kolkata but she refuses. But on the other hand Doyamoyee herself was not happy of her condition as people don't treat her as a person, Khoka (their nephew) also avoid her, she was so lonely and even she refuses to go with her husband. She lives a life of beliefs, far away from a life of reality. That saddens her deeply but she was unable to escape as she was bound to superstitions. She was confused.

In the mean time, Khoka(their nephew) has severe fever. The family refuses to go to doctor, rather they believed that Doyamoyee's Charanamrito can recover the kid. So they keep the child near Doyamoyee that night. But being a logical person, Khoka's mother asks Doyamoyee to give up and to tell the father in law to visit the doctor. But bound to beliefs, Doyamoyee decides to watch that night if the kid recovers with her godly powers.

Next day morning, when Umaprasad returns to home to take action against his father's beliefs and to make Doyamoyee free from this situation, he finds that his father is crying at Godess kali's feet. The reason is at that morning Khoka has died due to lack of proper treatment, the Charanamrito doesn't work and the belief cost the kid's life. And then Umaprasad goes to Doyamoyee's room and finds her in an insane condition, as she mumbles that she should went to water (symbolic bisarjan - god and goddess statues are drowned in water after the worship is completed)..otherwise the family would kill her.

The story finely plotted the religious dogmatism.



The Academy Film Archive preserved Devi in 1996.[1]

Critical reception & legacy[edit]

The film received critical acclaim upon its release.[2] On Rotten Tomatoes, Devi holds a score of 100% based on 10 reviews for an average rating of 7.6/10.[3] Directors William Wyler and Elia Kazan have described the film as "poetry on celluloid".[4][5]


National Film Awards
Cannes Film Festival

Other credits[edit]


  1. ^ "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
  2. ^ "Screen: Satyajit Ray's 'Devi' Arrives:Indian Film Deals With a Religious Conflict: Creator of 'Apu' Plays Old Against New". New York Times print archive. 8 October 1962. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Devi (The Goddess)". Rotten Tomatoes. 11 July 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  4. ^ Gupta, Ranjan Das (30 April 2011). "Ray at Cannes". The Hindu Times. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  5. ^ Roisin, Fariha (18 August 2014). "Why the Best American Filmmakers Owe a Debt to Satyajit Ray". IndieWire. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  6. ^ "8th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Devi". Retrieved 22 February 2009.

External links[edit]