The Cloud-Capped Star

Synopsis: "Meghe Dhaka Tara" tells the tragic story of the beautiful daughter of a middle-class refugee family from East Pakistan, living in the outskirts of Calcutta under modest circumstances. Neeta sacrifices everything for her family, including her personal happiness, her money, and her health, while her achievements are hardly ever recognized by the people around her.
126 min


(Cloud-Capped Star)

Supriya Choudhury, Anil Chatterjee,

Bijon Bhattacharya

Gita De, Gita Ghatak

Dwiju Bhawal, Niranjan Roy, Gyanesh

Mukherjee, Ranen Roy Choudhury

Story by Shaktipada Rajguru

Photographed by Dinen Gupta

Film editing by Ramesh Joshi.

Music by Jyotirindra Moitra

Production, scenario and direction

by Ritwik Ghatak

Tell your father you owe us for

two months. It's getting difficult

Yes, I will

I can't do without a shave,

so please shave me

Any idea what you owe?

A dark girl

A dark complexion

Get off to school now

Her tuitions should be over;

she'll be hurt if she overhears

Such a responsible girl

Studying and giving two tuitions,

bringing home forty rupees a month

I heard at the meeting that

there are more and more evictions

They might even stop school grants

Would you like a mat,

to sit and gossip on?

Your sandal is torn, Khuki

I'll have it mended

Teacher, about your tax...

What a good thing I bumped into you.

Now, about your dramatic society...

The bumblebee flew humming

into the room

Bathe, you're late for college

A love letter!.

"l didn't appreciate your worth,

I thought you were like the others

"But now I see you in the clouds...

"...perhaps a cloud-capped star,

veiled by circumstances...

"...your aura dimmed"

Sanat. That idiot! I haven't

seen him for ages

Poking your nose into personal affairs

If you're a "person", then

I'll be a genius one day

You know that's true, hence your pride

If only the barber would understand

what a genius I am

Can you spare some money?

The beard's itching

Two annas, or maybe four...

...or maybe eight - I'd like

some tobacco

Or why not a whole rupee. You've got

your tuition money, haven't you?.

Why not get a job, Brother?

It's beneath an artist's dignity

In a couple of years, cash will

rain down on me

Do you know how much Amir Khan Sahib

gets for a concert?

Remember what I said about the rupee

Ma, Manashi in our college has

a sari with a beautiful motif...

...a cow-girl

Ma, don't listen to her

It's the college's football final


I can't wear these awful saris

any more

The "heiress" has spent three years

in the same class

I must have studded boots by tomorrow

He can't afford food, but he makes

demands like a prince

Half the month we can't afford

a second course

It's the first of the month -

sister will have been paid

You didn't buy sandals, did you?

I'll buy them later. I bought

material for brother's shirt

After all these years... isn't that

Father's pupil Sanat?

Don't you recognize me?

It's Montu, isn't it?.

What are you gawping at?.

You've changed so much. You were

only a girl, and now...

- Who?

- Neeta

You write letters, but you don't

come to see us

I know that handwriting; I give

those letters to Neeta

She's hardly at home, what with

college and tuitions

Let's go home. Ma will be cross

Geeta has grown into quite a beauty

A beauty... but she can't afford

decent clothes

Neeta, I need some cash to have

the diagrams printed

It's all gone this month, Sanat

I can't even buy my brother and

sister what they ask

I know, but I still bring my woes

to you. One feels powerless

It's your struggle. Can't we share it?

I'll find a way next month

Please visit us. Father often

speaks of you

Yes, but only when I've some money

Your spoilt darling will spend it

by the fistful

After all, it's her money

The hussy must have spent it all,

my entire month's budget

I ought to give, but I don't.

How can I say no?

No sympathy in the whole world,

and no one who'll understand

Khuki, won't you eat?

I'm not feeling well

Don't be angry with Ma

Deprivation... it's destroyed her mind

I'm not angry

Remember that poem by Yeats, Khuki?

A bad headache

Here's another precious prodigy

A god in a devil's clan.

Shear it off

You've bought nice material

Going to bed already?. Won't you eat?

Mother must have said something

Ignore what people say. Your motto

should be:
Do what you think best

Eyes full of tears?. They'll fall

at the slightest provocation

I'll utter a spell. All right?

- I'm not feeling well

- So I'm uttering it

Mother, your girl's such a Khuki.

She wants to catch the moon

She can't make out anything

She's such a Khuki, mother

- A rupee tomorrow, please

- There's nothing left

All right, next month, then

Next month it all goes straight to Ma

Whoever gives up money

is a full-scale idiot

Where are you going, all dressed up?

I couldn't wait till morning

to wear it

Slightly bovine

There's pleasure in practice

New month, very busy right now

Please send last month's bill

You'll settle it? What did you want?

Just the bill

Not going to college?

Flunking exams for novels and films

Everything's scarce in this house,

you don't have anything you need

So create a paradise

Dress like fairies, all of you

I'll rest, wriggling my big toe,

in perfumed splendour

This year you and Shankar

just have to sing for us

I've given up singing, and Shankar's

maestro won't give him permission

But we'll invite lots of guests.

We must talk this over

All right, I'll call in at the

library and see you

Well, how are the rehearsals?

Not making much progress

Progress indeed!

The tuition money

All of it?

I asked Banshi to send his bill.

He's so rude every day

Keep five rupees for pocket-money

Have you no shame, living off

your old father?

The girl works to foot your bills

I'll be earning, too

Since the radio audition I get lots

of calls, my maestro's furious

He won't let me perform until

I've studied for another two years

Hasn't your maestro a hennaed beard?

Why not just grab it and hang on

like a midget? Why come here?

Does any young man sit at home?

My bread doesn't come cheap

How can I look people in the eye?

No food for you, unless you pay up

- Going off without eating?

- You told Ma I'm a glutton

He can't make out anything.

He's such a Khuka, mother

Why destroy the future because of

such simple bickering?

Grit your teeth and hang on

for two years

Khuki, only you know my worth

Going off like that... don't you know

what's on tomorrow?

It's Jagatdhatri Puja

It's your birthday

Father's taking me out,

like he used to

Where to?

Anywhere, it's not decided

All right. I'll come, too.

Don't tell him

Brother, you're such a child

Father would refuse if I told him


Didn't Keats have a poem?

This flourishing field... it costs

nothing to perceive its beauty

There is no money, but this is here

Appreciating life is an art

Don't overdo it, you'll get


Will you always be this greedy?

You shouldn't say such things

Anything for us?.

Sir, your tax is three months overdue

Come tomorrow morning,

I'll see what I can do

Aren't you in that group of...

I left. I wasn't getting any parts

An actor, is it?

Who are you?

I'm Sanat, sir

You got a good second in pure physics

Someone told me... Khuki told me

Yes, we meet sometimes

What's happened?. You're so pale

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Samiran Dutta

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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