Prasenjit as Mahendra
Aishwarya Rai as Binodini
Raima Sen as Ashalata
Lily Chakravarty as Rajlakshmi, Mahendra’s mother
Tota Roy Chowdhury as Behari
Chokher Bali (literally translated to “sand in the eye”, figuratively to “constant irritant”; Bengali: চোখের বালি) is a Bengali film based on the novel Chokher Bali by Rabindranath Tagore. It was directed by Rituparno Ghosh in 2003 and stars Prasenjit as Mahendra, Aishwarya Rai as Binodini and Raima Sen as Ashalata. Ashalata and Binodini refer to each other as Chokher Bali. The other major characters are played by Lily Chakravarty (as Rajlakshmi, Mahendra’s mother) and Tota Roy Chowdhury (as Behari, Rajlakshmi’s adopted son). The film was later dubbed into Hindi and was released internationally under that language.
Upon release, the film met with positive critical and box office reception.
The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali and was nominated for the Golden Leopard (Best Film) award at the Locarno International Film Festival in 2003. The film screened at the 34th International Film Festival of India on October 19. The film was the Official Selection at the Chicago International Film Festival in 2003 and was showcased in over 25 International Festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival, London Film Festival, Palm Springs, Karlovy Vary and Washington DC International Film Festivals besides winning the Apsara Film Producers’ Award for the Best Regional Film 2004.