Even as the middle segment of a trilogy, this was my introduction to Satyajit Ray, turning me into an instant fan, and is one of the greatest films I've seen. The neo-realist leanness the film is completely absorbing & is perfectly matched to the characters. Not having been to India, I'll admit to being unsure of how true to reality the look of the film is, but Ray's gift for detail is in a league of its' own - I consider the opening scenes (establishing shots from Benares intercut with shots of young Apu running through narrow lanes) to be among cinema's most memorable moments, and a great example of allowing images and rhythm to tell a story. I don't want to overstate it, but this is a really beautiful, haunting film - from it's warmest to it's most tragic elements, I was thinking about it for quite a while afterwards. APARAJITO is obviously the work of a genuinely enthusiastic filmmaker, and also a great thinker as well - every cinephile should see it. Would love to see all of Ray's work available in the US, and on DVD.
Following his father's death, a boy leaves home to study in Calcutta, while his mother must face a life alone.
December 12, 2020