Saturday, 14 June 2008
Apu Trilogy: Pather Panchali , Aparajito , Apur Sansar 
Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road), Aparajito (The Unvanquished) and Apur Sansar (The World of Apu), the three mesmerizing, lyrical tales encapsulating Apu’s journey from birth and childhood to adolescence to manhood, respectively, (cinematic equivalent of Bildungsroman), propelled Satyajit Ray from an aspiring filmmaker and cinephile to immortality as the greatest genius of post-independent India. Apu’s fascinating relationship with his elder sister Durga in Pather Panchali, his taking over responsibility after his father’s demise in Aparajito, his fleeting attempt to be a family man in Apur Sansar – these are themes that have been etched in my mind. Watching the lyricism, the bleary-eyed beauty, the complex and multi-layered character development of Apu, the emphasis on the sensory and visuals over narrative reminiscent of films of the silent era, the strong influence from the distinctive Italian genre of neorealism (Ray was heavily influenced by Vittorio De Sica’s The Bicycle Thief), one can feel Ray’s passion and love for cinema, and appreciate his impeccable eye for detail. Stories of how Ray managed to complete Pather Panchali with limited funds and against numerous obstacles are stuff that legends are made of. Apur Sansar, perhaps the best among equals, also kick-started Ray’s long and fascinating collaboration with actor Soumitra Chatterjee, whose sensitive and intense portrayal of Apu’s manhood is terrific to say the least. The beauty, joy and pathos painted in the Apu trilogy are unmatched in any trilogy before or since.
Director: Satyajit Ray
Genre: Drama/Family Drama/Rural Drama/Coming-of-Age/Urban Drama/Psychological Drama/Epic