Friday, 28 August 2009
Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha) 
Pather Panchali in particular, and Apu Trilogy in general, might be his most internationally famous work, but if you ask any Bengali-speaking Ray aficionado, more often than not you’ll find Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne is THE movie they all like to remember him by. On one hand this timeless classic was a delightful children’s fantasy filled with humour, adventure and magic, while on the other it was a subtle yet powerful statement on the absurdities of war, brought forth through high satire and sharp insight – things that only grownups would be able to appreciate. The tale, adapted from a short story by his grandfather, is about two young, simple-nature guys – Goopy and Bagha, who upon getting banished from their respective villages, end up being awarded three magical boons, including, among others, the ability to spellbind people (literally as well as figuratively) with their music. This wonderfully charming movie stands out as a clear elucidation of Ray’s unmatched versatility – not just in terms of seamlessly traversing across genres, themes and tonalities, but also in the auteur’s ability to don a staggering number of hats over and above that of a director’s. Apart from directing, writing the screenplay and composing the background score for the movie – things he did for nearly all his movies, he also wrote and composed a plethora of unforgettable songs, as well as designed the costumes of the characters! The acting by every single member of the cast was outstanding – especially Tapen Chatterjee as Goopy, the inimitable Rabi Ghosh as Bagha, Santosh Dutta in the double role of long-lost twin brothers and kings about to go to war with each other, and Jahar Roy as an evil minister. The movie also employed special effects – as in the breathtaking ‘dance of ghosts’ sequence, which were spectacular given the movie’s budget as well as the era it was made in.
Director: Satyajit Ray
Genre: Comedy/Fantasy/Musical/Adventure/Political Satire