Critic’s Rating : 3.5 / 5
Avijatrik Movie Review : An impressive hat-tip to an evergreen classic
Set in the 1930s and 1940s India, this black-and-white period drama, makes you nostalgic and hopeful at the same time. From scenes where Apu (Arjun Chakraborty) meets his childhood friend Lila (Arpita Chatterjee) in the train to Varanasi to taking his son, Kajol (Ayushman Mukherjee), to his ancestral home in Nischindipur village, the script has some heart-tugging moments that bring back the audiences/readers’ memories of little Apu.
But there is no overdoing the nostalgia bit. The scenes cut to the present. And now Apu lives his boyhood days through his son, Kajol. Propelling his wanderlust is a globe-trotter, played by Sabyasachi Chakraborty, with an undeniable offer of travel. The film links Apu’s inner turmoil with his writer identity. The use of literary and historic references and making sense of Apu’s world – the script is taut and has plenty of delightful moments. To back the well-knit story, there are imageries that linger, seasoned acting, soulful music, apt costumes and deft direction.
Arjun Chakraborty shines as Apu, despite the large shoes he has had to fill in. An exceptional sequence of Arjun wobbling down the stairs at the sound of gunfire coming in from the direction of his son’s path, stands out. Ayushman is as endearing as we remember Satyajit Ray’s child artistes to be. Ditipriya Roy as Aparna, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Sreelekha Mitra and Arpita Chatterjee – all do justice to their pivotal roles.
The film in many ways flows like poetry. It leaves a lasting impression with its restraint use of drama, melancholy, laughter and tears.