(out of 5)

Satyajit Ray’s Apu trilogy continues after Pather Panchali with the further adventures of his delightful young hero. Now an adolescent, Apu is living with his parents in Benares when a sudden illness takes his father and his mother is responsible for earning a living. She begins work as a maid, but soon gives that up to go live with a relative in their ancestral village where he will take care of the two of them. Longing to better himself through education, Apu is sent to Calcutta to study and work, getting a job at a printing press. The days and nights of toil are difficult for him, while the distance from her son has a terrible effect on his mother, who wishes he would visit more. Ray’s delicate touch and beautiful sensibilities are well on display here, though the film does not hit as deep as the previous venture did, possibly because the character of Apu is kept more at a distance and not the contrast of joy and brightness in a world otherwise marked by harsh reality. All the same, it’s an exquisite film that fans of this leader in world cinema will greatly enjoy.

India, 1956

Directed by 

Screenplay by Satyajit Ray, based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by Satyajit Ray

Music by

Production Design by

Film Editing by


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