Movie Review: Apur Panchali

Director Kaushik Ganguly
Released 2014
Verdict Average

I did not want to watch this movie after first 5 minutes. Next day I asked the story from my hubby and he briefed me. Although, the story line was sad as I expected; I watched it that afternoon, expecting no surprises.

This movie is inspired by a real person Subir Banerjee, who played Apu in Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali.

The story starts with a young film student Arka, knocking on a door of alleged Subir Banerjee, who once was young Apu and now a grumpy old man. Initially he denied the fact that he had anything to do with Ray or Apu. It took a little time and persuasion from the part of Arka to finally make this man to own up his true identity.

Arka was carrying an invitation letter from Germany. They wanted to give an award to Ray’s Apu at the 50th anniversary of Pather Panchali. He also had the responsibility to take him to Germany if he agrees.

The story depicted the present in technicolor and past in black and white. Present Subir Bondhypadhya narrates his story to Arka. The story continues showing the similarities between his life and Apu’s life and how Apu had never left him alone.

I already knew what was going to happen, since I have watched and re-watched Apu trilogy. I guess it would be difficult to find a Bengali, who has not watched these movies sometime or other in their lives.

But what I did not expect, was the vivid depiction of the aftermath of a death. Death has crossed path with us someway or other. We may have observed death from near or from far and it is never pleasant. I did not expect here in this movie to see all those painful portrayals. In my opinion it was not required by any means and it did not add anything to audiences’ empathy.

In my opinion — an average movie. It obviously gave as exposure to Subir Banerjee, but I have a feeling that, he may not have liked this much.

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