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Pather Panchali – review

Posted by kaushalkurapati on May 17, 2006

We watched Pather Panchali on DVD recently. It got me thinking whether Satyajit Ray ever thought he would get the kind of world acclaim with this first movie as he got.

The movie is very earthy, engaging and the characters are endearing. I think more than anything else I would say that Ray masterfully built the characters so much to the point that you knew what to expect out of them. On the one hand the poverty is heart wrenching and at the same time you can enjoy the movie through the simple pleasures the characters experience: the simple minded and affectionate Durga, Apu and his sweet antiques with bow and arrow, etc. The lady who played the mom was brilliant in her portrayal of basic family emotions and to think of it that none of them ever acted before (except the old grand-ma), speaks volumes about Ray's cinematic ability.

Ray captures the family live in the village perfectly; it never feels like there is anything artificial about the film and thats probably why this film got the accolades it did. All the actors 'live' in their roles and not for one second it seems like they are acting. Thats the reason they become endearing and one can associate with them easily. All in all a good movie experience.


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