The film is slow, studied, and observed with a fanatic attention to the smallest gestures and glances, which helps to fill out the somewhat schematic structure Ray has inherited from his source (a novel by Rabindranath Tagore). Ray soft-pedals the ironies (the politician is, of course, a bounder), while bringing out the full emotional sweep of the young woman's awakening, suggesting that the violent demonstrations that rock the streets are the product of a similar repression.
The Home and the World, attuned as it is to the nuance of interpersonal relations and yet suggestive of larger social and philosophical concerns, is at once one of Ray's most intimate and immense works... The tribulations that beset the couple, while deeply felt, are but emblematic of the tragedies that befell a nation.
Against the backdrop of Bengal’s troubled 1906-07 winter, Ray weaves a study of female liberation, national sovereignty and the complexities of love.