Pather Panchali Review – Pather Panchali is a Bengali drama directed by Satyajit Ray, released in 1955. The movie is based on the novel by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay by the same name. This was also Satyajit Ray’s directorial debut. The story revolves around a poor family in the rural area of West Bengal. It is the journey of the family struggling to make the ends meet.
This movie is now a landmark in the history of Indian Cinema. Ray took the film to outdoors and started the trend of realistic movies in Indian Cinema. The movie introduced many legends to Indian Cinema. It took 3 years to make the movie due to funding issues. If you are interested in the journey of the making of the movie then read the article Song of the Little Road from this site. Thanks to Bangalore International Film Festival, I was able to enjoy this movie on a big screen in Gold Class.
The movie is very engaging from the start. Given the limitations of the technology and challenges in lighting the output still brilliant. Ray paints the picture of the family in the rural area. The household set has been brilliantly designed and is utilized to the maximum. There is a scene in which the mother pushes her daughter out of the house and closes the door. Through the hole in the wall, Ray has captured both the characters and their emotions at the same time without resorting to any split screen editing. You would see many such brilliant moments in the film.
The music composition pandit Ravi Shankar is just brilliant and adds soul to the movie. The sound recording captures the sound you would experience in a countryside. The two kids in the movie are the ones that win you heart as compared to the others. They have performed very well. Although the family is going through financial troubles the world in the eyes of the kids is still beautiful as they take extreme pleasure from the smallest things. The activities they do would have been nostalgic for many of the movie goers during that time. As the movie is based on a popular novel the story itself is very compelling and Ray’s visual language gives a new dimension to the story.
High Points: The outdoor sequences, Scene compositions, performances of the actors, nostalgic moments, background score, use of the sets, the iconic train scene
Low Points: The only low point is the legend Ray is not with us now
Get ready to travel to a countryside and relive the early 20th century. This is a milestone movie in the history of Indian Cinema that had got a lot of attention from the world. Don’t miss if you get a chance to watch this one.