Sur le sempiternel thème de la foi aveugle et rigide, concomitante à un pesant obscurantisme religieux qui ouvre à tous les primaires égarements et toutes les odieuses outrances des barbus et des ensoutanés de n'importe quelle croyance, une oeuvre solide et intangible, profondément humaine, qui doit se lire au-delà des clivages d'époque. www.cinefiches.com
3-4. It would have been so powerful if Daya were able to call out her father-in-law, herself, but unfortunately she's limited by the society in which she exists (ultimately resulting in, presumably, her and her husband's withdrawal from it). Still, in spite of the clash needing to come from an active male agent, the film makes a number of powerful points about progress, society, and blind faith. I'll give it a pass.
Satyajit Ray tackles social issues with confidence and humanity that astounds and braves against societal norms. Here he boldly takes on the fault of blind faith, and possibly religion itself. Its impressive when a filmmaker can be so political and simultaneously show so much incredible sensitivity and honesty, telling personal stories of family as well as broad and deep stories of the world.
For once Christianity is the faith of advanced apostasy, not of benumbing status quo; siding with science to combat superstition, as pointlessly as a hail cannon. An exotic alliance you seldom get to see if any time at all. I’ll have to consult Tagore to figure if tabooing up the teenage wife was family's terror-struck precaution to ease the vengeful blow of an enraged pantheon or the impotent fury of an aging father
Ray again returns to that timeless theme of the modern co-existing with the traditional. His film is a powerful rumination on the magnetic pull of mysticism and it's effect on people. Ray looks at his characters with such a keen psychological understanding, and without judgment. His images make use of sparkling pools of light, shadow and dramatic use of space and elegant camera movements. The pace is off though.
This is a very honest and realistic film. Very few people have the guts to declare openly that the dogmas behind religion are well... nonsense. I do not know Ray's religious views, but it would be interesting to understand if he made this film in accordance to them or in spite of them.