Siddartha, a medical student, feels he must discontinue his studies following the death of his father. He looks for a job and has to submit to a formal interviews requiring that the candidate be examined by a committee on questions of general culture. He realizes that he lacks the all important element of backing. Somewhat mentally disoriented, wandering in a Calcutta shocked by intense political upheaval and revolutionary violence, he ends by accepting a medical sales position, away from the city and the girl he loves. –Satyajit Ray Film and Study Center
Satyajit Ray is one of cinema’s truest Renaissance men. In addition to his films, he is a reputed writer of short stories, a music composer (scores for his own films and other film-makers, notably Merchant-Ivory’s Shakespeare Wallah) and a painter and graphic designer of considerable skill. Appropriately enough, Ray derived from a background of great culture, the son of poet Sukumar Ray who died when he was three years old. His interest in fine arts, literature and painting led him to reside at Rabindranath Tagore’s Santiniketan (an intellectual retreat for artists and thinkers) for a significant period of time. Ray’s true love however was the cinema. The cinema of 30s Hollywood, which included Fred Astaire musicals and comedies by Ernst Lubitsch; Russian films he devoured in repeated viewings at the Calcutta Film Society (which he co-founded in 1947) and later the Italian neorealist films which he discovered in London.
At the time of the Second World War, and the final period of… read more
Reminds me a lot of Soseki's novels, dealing with the students, especially To the Spring Equinox and Beyond - this ever-relevant theme of each generation of men and women trying to break into these economies that have nothing for them. Loved the main character's struggle between all that and himself. More Ray, please!
Siddhartha is the character that Ray most closely identified with. So do I. A bit of him and a bit of Travis Bickle. :P
This is one of the few Ray film's where his technical side comes to the forefront. The dream sequences, jump cuts, hand held camera sequences and hallucinations are very proficiently done. The international influence is very evident. The movie keeps you interested throughout but eventually it ends up being an exercise in style. But still, its definitely worth a watch for its technical brilliance.