Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pather Panchali by Satyajit Ray


The first film by the famed Indian director is a landmark in world cinema. Inspired by the Neo-Realist movement in Italian cinema, Ray and Subroto Mitra (the cinematographer), both rank amateurs, succeeded beyond anybody's imagination in presenting a slice of life in a poor village in India with such tremendous sensitivity, beauty and poise that the film swept across the world, gathering award after award, accolade after accolade, and paving the way for a remarkable director to present his ouvre in his famed Apu Trilogy to the world.

Ray was foremost a humanist, and only secondly a filmmaker. It is not a surprise that the title of the award to the film at Cannes in 1956 was "Best Human Document".

Richly deserving of all the praise, the film is episodic in style. Understatedly dealing with life in its various forms and shades, man and nature in constant play with each other, the passage of time and the awareness of decay, death and loss of innocence, the film says nothing overtly, and yet says it all.

One always feels softer, more sensitive, a little kinder and more generous, more understanding after watching a Ray film, and that feeling is the signature of this great director.

Recommendation: Masterpiece

2 comments:

carbusier puttar said...

The throwing away of the stolen necklace is one of my great moments of cinema-----how it gurgles and dissapears in the murk, swallowing up the past---the death of childhood

onlyne said...

My best hindi film---Shatranj ke Khilari------the marvellously intonated Urdu-----the battle with mosquitos-----apart from human sesitivity and power of observation he has a genius for historical reconstruction