The Music Room (1958)

Directed by Satyajit Ray

A wealthy landlord lives a decadent life with his wife and son. His passion – his wife would calls it his addiction – is music, and he spends a great deal of his fortune on concerts held for the locals in his magnificent music room. He feels threatened by his neighbour, a commoner who has attained riches through business dealings. His passion for music and quest for social respect are his undoing, as he sacrifices his family and wealth trying to retain it.

The Music Room is less of an examination of a single rich man than of a dying Bengali landowning class, itself a symbol for what was about to vanish from Indian culture in the post-Independence drive toward modernisation. An intensely moving portrait of a highly-detached man whose passion for music and its attendant quest for respect from his peers is his eventual undoing, as he sacrifices both his family and wealth whilst trying to retain it.