There is absolutely no need for me to waste more bandwidth and disk space writing about Satyajit Ray’s master piece Pather Panchali or better to say the Apu Trilogy. Like some one has said “Classic Literature is something that everyone adores but hardly any one reads” Same can be said about Art movies as well.
Pather Panchali However Apu Trilogy was not an Art Film. It was a box office hit even though it was the first movie made by satyajit and the whole crew. Pather Panchali was a well known novel by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay. It tells story of a poor Brahmin family in West Bengal. Harihar is a poor soul who earns very little by workign as a priest. He dreams of making big fortune by writing scholarly plays and poetry. The whole family lives in a dream that they will one day earn enough to feed all.The family contains Harihar, his wife Sarbjaya, their very old aunt Indi (Played by Chunnidevi) , Apu and his elder sister Durga. Sarbjaya doesnt really go well with Indi and they keep on fighting. Durga has some kind of affection for Indi. Durga and Apu love to hear the sound of train and they even once run away from the house to see the train. Train is the connecting factor between all three movies.Harirar fed up of his job in temple decides to move away from the village to a city. However he leaves and there is very little communication from him. This puts the family in more difficult situation. Sarbjaya becomes more lonely and dettached because of his absence while her responsibilities increase. While playing in the Bushes Durga and Apu discover that Indi is dead. On a rainy day Durga dances in rain for a long time and catches fever. She dies becuase of absence of any medical help.
When Harihar returns with some money and shows Sarbajaya what all he has brought, she stands as cold and stiff as stone and falls on his feet. He realises that his absence has made them loose more than what he has earnt.
The movie is about hope and human struggle for survival. Its about indian family values and the emotional complexities of different relationships between the family. Each character is complete on its own and the center point is Apu. If the family has anything to rejoice about than it is because of the young Apu who is loved by everyone. Apu also is the hope of the family for a better future. When Durga dies Harihar decides to leave the village. Apu finds a beaded necklace stolen by durga (she denies stealing it though, he throws it in a pond. Movie ends when the whole family relocates in a Ox-Cart.
In the Second part Aporajito, Apu’s father Harihar dies. Sarabjaya takes a job as a maidservent. They go back to their ancestral village. Apu insists that he will go to school. He studies diligently and gets a scholarship to go to Kolkata. Sarbjaya doesnt really want him to and the theme of the movie get unfolded. Its about a mother who loves her child and a child blooming into a young man willing to see the outer world. Sarbajaya understands that for Apu’s life it is important that he should study further and bids bye bye to her son with a smile. Apu leaves for Kolkata and she bursts into tears. Apu’s departure leaves her all alone and she detaches herself from the world.
She expects that her son will visit her often. Apu works in a printing press as a part time job. He visits his mother very rarey and feels out of place in that small village. He finds his mother very outdated. It is not somthing that a son turning bad, buts it natural for anyone who spends his life is a city. Satyajit ray shows this change so beautifully that we too realise that all of us have gone through the face where we see that generation gap.Sarbajaya falls ill but doesnt convey her son. When finally he learns about her illness he returns but finds that she is already dead. Locals ask Apu to stay back and work as a priest but he refuses. Symbolically the director has shown that the young generation is not interested in following the olders generations so called nobel way of life. Apu returns to Kolkatta to settle in there.The third and last gem in the series is Apur Sansar meaning Apu’s world. Apu is a unemployed graduate. He happens to visit a village for a his friend Pallu’s friends wedding. It turns out that the groom has serious mental disorder. Bride’s mother cancles the wedding despite of father’s protest. Villagers request Apu to accept the bride and get married to her. If she cant marry on that muhurat she would remain unmarried to the rest of her life. (Bride is played by Sharmila Tagor). Apu marries her and returns to Kolkata. Satyajit Ray shows the blooming love between the young couple and their intimacy even though he did not have the freedom to show any sort of physical contact.The love between the young couple is short lived as Sharmila dies giving birth to their first son Kajal. Apu hold Kajal responsible for her death and denounces him. He becomes a wanderer and goes all over india. Kajal, on other hand lives with his maternal grandparents and turn violent day by day. Pallu, Apu’s friend goes on searching for Apu and finally finds him in a mining quary. He requests Apu to take his fatherly responsibility.Apu returns to his in laws. Kajal being watching his father for the first time refuses to accept him as a father. However after a lot of convincing he accepts him as a friend and both of them leave for kolkata to start a life afresh.