Dream author, dream book, dream actors, dream director, dream movie and there comes a dream journey called Pather Panchali! A dream, we will love to cherish generations after generations. It was yesterday, that “Pather Panchali” completed its 60 years.
Pather Panchali has showed how to celebrate the simplest moments of life through cinema. There is absolutely no grandeur in the way of storytelling of Ray. Whatever he showed on screen, that’s exactly he meant to say! It’s pure, it’s honest. Limited budget, amateur actors, and inexperienced crew-the film went through all. And there were other technical hindrances which challenged the crew to go beyond their comfort zone. Who could stop it from touching our heart? Ultimately, it’s the treatment of a film that wins.
Pather Panchali’s best aspect, I think, it talked to each and every audience; the audience beyond cultural or linguistic barriers. Satyajit Ray used to say, a film does not require to say everything but a few details which audience will take back home. The hide and seek sequence of Apu and Durga, Durga combing Apu’s hair while Sarbojoya affectionately watches them, Apu finishes the bowl of milk and Durga just wipes his mouth…they are so simple yet so warmly depicted in the movie. One can immediately feel the essence of their relationship through these small gestures. Infact, Babu da (Sandip Ray) once said, when there was a special screening of Pather Panchali held at their house, during the first half, Satyajit Ray and Dulal Dutta, the editor of the film were constantly discussing how it could have been better. But Ray was happy with the second half of the film when they were just watching the film without uttering a single word. This is very true that improvisation has no end. The more you polish, the more you improve!
A film like Pather Panchali which changed the face of Bengali cinema in World Cinema took five years to complete for the lack of funds. I always believe, there must be a long struggle behind every success story! Previously, our budget was low and we had to give our best in that limited comfort we were provided.
I’ve heard that after auditioning a good number of boys for the role of Apu, Bijoya Roy spotted the Subir Banerjee playing with some kids in their neighborhood. But Subir Banerjee’s father did not want his son to be featured in a film. Ray consoled him; today no one knows your son or me. But I will make a film that will change Bengali cinema. Then all of Bengal will know both of us. Nevertheless, their fame did not limit only in Bengal. Pather Pachali became phenomena that created history.
I think Satyajit Ray has showed us the path: the art of simple storytelling. I would love to hear from all of you what do you feel about Pather Panchali. What is that one thing about the film which is still so relevant that we all can connect to? Let me know.
Stay blessed. Love to all!