"Charachar" is perhaps one of the most poetic films of the contemporary Indian cinema, whose framework and tecnique are marked by a simplicity which goes straight to the object of the director of his plea in favour of ecology, the destruction of the environment in general--a major problem in todays's India--starting from a simple equation : if the environment dies, man will die. Buddhadeb Dasgupta seems moreover, to illustrate a personal conviction, namely that surrender to Nature's cycle--a profoundly Indian theme--is essential for its survival. For Lakha ( the uoung Rajit Kapoor ) is like his ancestors, a poor bird seller by profession, who, with the men of his village in the heart of the luxuriant and lovingly filmed Bengali countryside, almost the only place where the entire film takes place, captures birds destined for the shops of Kolkata. The only time he goes to Kolkata with his friends, he is invited to ceremony of "bird worship" in which birds are roasted and eaten, Itis the last straw for him and a physical and mental nausea, for which the world takes hold of him.
Becoming a kind of Hindu St. Francis of Assisi, he refuses from now on to hunt birds, to the great despair of his young wife--it is their only source of income--and distances himself from her day to day. To her question, concerning the reasons, which drove him to capture them, he replies that it was to "know" them, which is a sign for her and her family circle that he has been affected by madness. His love for birds makes him neglect his wife, who takes a lover with a heavy heart. When , he meets them together on a country road, he challenges his rival but on the point of defeating him, he abandons the fight and enjoins them to go. His increasing indifference to the lives of his fellow creatures--he refuses even the advances of the beautiful daughter of one of his colleagues--convinces him that he has reached the end of his "karma" and he devotes himself totally, even fogetting to eat, to birds by spending his time in the shelter of their wings (Charachar). A withdrawal within himself and away from the world which will probably result in his physical extinction.