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Aparajito

Aparajito Movie Review

by rameshe

Critic’s Rating : 4.0 / 5

Aparajito Movie Review : A fitting tribute to Satyajit Ray in black and white

Aparajito is a smartly made film. The outdoor shoots are restricted to a rural landscape and the art department skipped any attempt to recreate the Calcutta cityscape of the ’50s. The antique transistor valve radio, the vintage cars, the desk-and-chair layout of the ad agency, the simple costumes and the black and white imagery mix to create a truly vintage canvas that makes the film a wonderful watch. What’s more, it makes you want to go back and watch Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali again.
The most striking aspect of the film is the research that has apparently gone into creating the storyline and helped choose the almost perfect cast. The Jeetu we see on screen is a spitting image of the young Ray, thanks to some great prosthetics by makeup man Somnath Kundu. And the actor deserves a round of applause for recreating the legendary filmmaker so fluidly on screen. And so do the other actors, especially Saayoni, who plays Aparajito’s astute and creative wife, for bringing to life the people behind Ray’s success.
The real credit, however, goes to director and writer Anik Dutta, co-writer Utsav Mukherjee, DoP Supratim Bhol and composer Debajyoti Mishra for creating a contemporary commercial film in black and white that keeps you hooked right till the last shot — when Aparajito receives a call from a young Martin Scor-‘something’.
Moreover, recreation of moments from the shooting of Pather Panchali — the iconic train scene, the reflection of the dog following the siblings and the village sweets-seller, the rain scene — have been so well executed that they transport you to those moments when a young Ray and his team actually shot the film.
Even the feedback and the gossip Pather Panchali provoked after its release in Kolkata seem bang on. From being called ‘slow’ and ‘a bit lengthy’ to ‘cashing in on the West’s perspective of India being a land of villages and poverty’, various characters have been used to recreate reactions to the film from an audience used to romantic films with loads of song-and-dance sequences.
Overall, Aparajito is a very well made film that’s anything but ‘slow’ and ‘poignant’. It has universal appeal despite being in black and white. Don’t miss it.

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