With the release of Satyajit Ray’s debut, an eloquent, important new cinematic voice made itself heard all over the world. A depiction of rural Bengali life in a style inspired by Italian neorealism, this naturalistic but poetic evocation follows a number of years in the life of an Indian family.
Inspired by Italian neo-realism and influenced by the depiction of rural life in the films of Flaherty, Ray's masterly debut strikingly evokes the cycle of life and death. The story centres on a poor Bengali family and brilliantly captures the beauty of the countryside, the grimness of poverty and the eternal fight for survival. Timeless images and lyrical music combine perfectly in a film to cherish for a lifetime..
Beautiful, quiet, sublime masterwork from Satyajit Ray. I loved the mood of this film, it was quite sad but at times filled with wonder and beauty. The acting was unreal, as was the cinematography. Despite its story feeling fairly simple (I mean that as a compliment) it still feels grand in scope. I'm excited to watch the other two in the trilogy.
One of the most beautiful scenes in cinema: when kids Durga & Apu see the train passing by across a field of 'kaash' flowers. Another such a memorable scene with kids and trains appears in Victor Erice's "The Spirit Of The Beehive".
A masterful, timeless look at an impoverished Indian family is arguably the best "neorealistic" film of all time, with stunning cinematic techniques that transcends any expectation about it being dry or slow. Deserves to be easily found on DVD in the U.S., and eventually being able to get the Apu Trilogy on Criterion blu ray would be incredible, if Criterion ever gets their act together and gets the rights
If art is universal and timeless, Pather Panchali is the paragon of such artistic masterpieces, Ray’s genius lies in his craft that is utterly simplistic, add to it the sense of visual and passion for the art, the cumulative result is a spell binding film that is rooted in reality and bursts with beauty -- the best movie from India.