Portrait of Satyajit Ray created by me in 1997...

Portrait of Satyajit Ray created by me in 1997 and edited in 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This movie made me cry at 4:30 am and that too in front of my college buddies but to my amazement I was not even ashamed to do so. The movie was none other than “Apur Sansar“( ‘The world of Apu’ in English ) , a masterpiece created by the genius director Satyajit Ray.  This movie is based on a novel written by famous bengali author Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay. I will not talk much about the movie as that’s not my intention and secondly that’s going to destroy the emotions of the movie.

It was not the first movie by Satyajit Ray which I have seen , I have been his fan since I was 10. He is the creator of the famous character Feluda. There is not a single bengali household which is not obsessed by Feluda. ray’s books and movies are evergreen and enjoyed by people of every age.  There have been numerous translations of his books and few of them are also globally acclaimed.If you are a bengali then I would request you to read the complete Feluda and Shanku series. Please do .

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He is the best director that bengal has ever seen and his direction is way ahead of his time and he worked with such creativity that even modern day technology fails to portray emotions and feelings that precisely.  The characters were  well defined  and the actors were  handpicked and were crafted to perfection. The must watch movies are The Apu Trilogy, Debi, Pratidwandi, Agantuk, Satranj Ke Khiladi, Goopy Bagha series, Sonar Kella, Aranyer Din Ratri, Jalsaghar,Nayak.  Ray’s first film, Pather Panchali (1955), won eleven international prizes, including Best Human Documentary at the Cannes film festival. This film, Aparajito (1956) and Apur Sansar (1959) form The Apu Trilogy. Ray did the scripting, casting, scoring, and editing, and designed his own credit titles and publicity material. He won a special lifetime achievement award at the 1992 Acadamy Awards. Legends like  filmmaker Akira Kurosawa and Ray were acquainted. Kurosawa said of Ray’s work, “To have not seen the films of Ray is to have lived in the world without ever having seen the moon and the sun”.

Bengali movies started way back before Satyajit started making movies. Legends like Mrinal Sen and Ritwik Ghatak made great impression in movie industries worlwide. Modern bengali directors like Rituporno ghosh and Srijit Mukherji also made wonderful movies. But till date I consider Ray to be the greatest director, creative mind and visionary of Bengal

  1. anuspace says:

    Very true!! He really raised the bar for movie-makers, and not just in Bengal!! When one sees a Ray Movie it does not seem like a regional work as the message and characters are universal. The best part is most of the characters are such ‘salt of the earth’ types. They really tug on your heart-strings, the way very few modern day characters do. I remember howling miserably when Durga dies in Pather Panchali, and I had already read the book so I knew the ending. In our University, they had screened the movie once with English sub-titles and the entire auditorium was packed with non-Bengali speaking students. When the lights turned on at the end, everyone was still stucl to their seats for a moment before they could bring themselves back to reality. That is the true power of a good movie.

  2. Couldn’t agree more 🙂 … Same thing happened with me when Aparna died in aour sansar. I howled in the middle of the night . Thats what is mentioned in the first line of the post. I wanted to mention more books in the post because they are equally good. He was a true genius.

  3. anuspace says:

    Yes he was.. His writing skill is amazing too.. He was great at the thrillers too.. Remember the stories of “Aro baro” and “Aro ek dajana” and so on?? Some of the stories gave me goosebumps!!

    There is this funny story though about some movie he had directed (I forget the name, probably had Soumitra in the lead), where there was a scene in which the protagonist is sitting on a street bench and there is a street lamp overhead, the old ones with two light holders. One of the bulbs is not working and a shadow is thrown over the protagonist’s face. Film critics went gaga over that scene, saying it was a reflection to life, the good and the bad, happiness and sorrow, life and death in the shadows. Much later Ray came on a talk show on TV where the host asked him about the scene and what he had in mind while shooting it. Ray smiled mischievously and said “The bulb was actually fused and the prop manager had not noticed and changed it in time. So we went ahead and shot the scene that way”!! 😛

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