For five and a half hours, I had the privilege of experiencing Satyajit Ray’s visual poetry on family, friendships, poverty, joy, sadness, love and everything in between. When it ended, I knew I had probably watched the greatest tale to have ever graced the silver screen, but this realization of boundless joy was accompanied with an atypical feeling of incompleteness. After much contemplation I realize I feel in this manner because the actual movie began when the credits rolled. I, for the past five and a half hours, had been at the folly of thinking I had been mesmerized by the world of Apu. Little did I realize it had been my own world which I was witnessing through Apu’s eyes.
So does that mean I was born in a poverty ridden Brahman family in Bengal ? No, it doesn’t and the world I am talking about here is not bound in the petty confines of the physical dimensions. It exists within each one of us, it exists within you dear reader, a world full of fantasies and desires and aspirations no is privy to except you. What Ray has created here is not a movie, it is an experience. Apu’s tale is relevant here, because it encompasses all of life itself. And as it progresses, we sympathize with his sorrows and rollick with his joys. But why do we for an individual whose life and where it plays out are so distant from the world we firmly inhabit ? Because in this roller coaster ride Ray crafts us for us, it is the emotions and not the scenarios from where it emanates that hold their worth. We have felt what Apu has felt. The scenarios where we have maybe different, but the emotions are there – stark naked, unadulterated and pure.
Further accentuating this experience is Ravi Shankar’s hauntingly beautiful ragas, enveloping us into a world of their own. Creating beauty of poverty is no mean task, and much credit belongs to Subrata Mitra for his groundbreaking use of bounce lighting which helps this work evade from the dull look of black and white which has resulted in audiences evading its predecessors.
In The World Of Apu, there is a scene where Apu throws the manuscript of his autobiographical work in the depths of mountain gorges in a desolate state after the demise of a loved one. It was then I became aware of the absolute greatness of the work I was witnessing, for Apu had transcended from a sanguine to woebegone in front of my very eyes. Yet, we hope for him. For in the midst of all these tragedies life has engulfed him in, we see in a crystal clear manner a man has right stuff and might someday make a movie like Pather Panchali himself.
I broke down repeatedly when I was watching Apu trilogy, not because of the pain it is ridden with, but because I could not believe I could love a movie so much.
RATING :- 9.9 / 10
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