Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Apur Sansar
India, 1959. Satyajit Ray Productions. Screenplay by Satyajit Ray, based on the story Aparajito by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay. Cinematography by Subrata Mitra. Produced by Satyajit Ray. Music by Ravi Shankar. Production Design by Bansi Chandragupta. Film Editing by Dulal Dutta. National Board of Review Awards 1960.
Satyajit Ray’s beautiful trilogy of films comes to a conclusion with this exploration of his protagonist’s adult life, having left the ups and downs of youth well behind him. Now a grown man looking to establish himself as a writer, Apu accompanies a friend to a wedding and witnesses devastation when it turns out that the bride’s intended groom is mentally unwell and cannot go through with the ceremony. Desiring that the family not be plunged into eternal shame, Apu’s friend begs him to take the vacant spot and enter the marriage; with the subtle humour that only Ray can do so exceptionally well, our hero agrees. It is not long before he discovers a deep love and tenderness for his lovely wife, but it is also not long before the difficulties of life are upon him and thwart his literary ambitions. Apu’s journey into his heartbreak and return to humane responsibility is the perfect reward for the previous films, and this capper is yet another gorgeous example of this great director’s memorably sensitive talent.