ImageAparajito (অপরাজিত) by Satyajit Ray (1956, India) is Bengali film, and the second part of “The Apu Trilogy”. It’s adapted from the last one-fifth of Bibhytibhushan Bannerje’s novel “Pather Panchali” one of the first one-third of its sequel “Aparajito”.

This story won the eleven international awards, including the “Golden Lion” at Venice Film Festival, and then in 1992 it was ranked #127 by Sight & Sound in its Critics Poll of all-time greatest films, and “The Apu Trilogy” at #88. Online Critic Roger Ebert included “The Apu Trilogy” in his “100 Great Music” list and also in “Time magazine’s all-time 100 greatest movies” List.

One of the online film critic (James Berardineli) wrote:

“Aparajito was filmed forty years ago, half way around the world, yet the themes and emotions embedded in the narrative are strikingly relevant to modern Western society (thus explaining why it is called a “timeless classic”)… ”Image

“I mix Indian instruments with Western instruments all the time.”

Satyajit Ray

He was drawn into independent filmmaking after meeting filmmakers like “Jean Renoir”

This film had such a decisive impact on the film of Satyajit Ray culture, Ray (1921-1992) was a commercial artist in Calcutta with little money and no connections when he determined to adapt a famous serial novel about the birth and young manhood of Apu.Image

The film begins with Apu’s family getting settled in an apartment close to a Ghat (Steps leading to a body of water, Holy River) in Benares, here he makes new friends while his mom Sarbajaya (Karuna Banerjee) remains at home, his dad Harihar (Kanu Banerjee) was a priest. On the day of Diwali, Apu’s dad was sick, he was told to rest but then he refuse to do so and went to work, and soon later he collapses and dies.

The scene of Apu’s father on his deathbed shows Ray’s effort and thought put into the film – rarely would people realize that the permanent concept of death is not understood by a ten year old. The film feels like it has been taken from a third person’s point of view: Apu seems detached and does not hurry even when told that his father would soon leave his physical body. Understanding that the concept of death would have little effect on the young Apu, shows Ray’s understanding of his characters.


This film was all about Apu growing up and leaving her mom away, building up the distance in between their relationship after his father’s death, follow up by his mother’s death too.Image

The hardest part of the film was the sequence of Sarbajaya’s death – it was around evening and she was sitting against a tree, waiting for her son Apu to return, hours later she hear Apu calling her but it was her imagination, due to she was dying to see her son, she went out and see a group of fireflies flying around the pond area.

It was a challenge back then as even the fastest film stock could not capture the lights coming out of the fireflies. He managed to condense the images from 2-3 hours down to mere minutes and applied a lighting technique that was very current during that time, a realistic looking lighting that become known as neorealistic photography.

How they overcome it?

“The only solutions that are ever worth anything are the solutions that people find themselves.”

Satyajit Ray 

Crew members dressed in black, carried a flashlight bulb along with a length of wire and a battery, they dance with the light itself and at the same time connecting and disconnecting the wire to the bulbs.

One must not overlook the difficulty in using music for establishing the mood, tone, and even location of the film. Since Indian music is largely improvised, it must have taken much group effort to sync the film, sound and music all at once.

A commentary on historical progress in society, Aparajito manages to transcend the bygones of an era. Despite being made in the fifties, it’s universal theme makes it a timeless classic. It’s usage of sound and silence manage to fill the movie with tension while the techniques employed by Sayatjit Ray gves it a comtemporary elegance, embodies the film with nostalgia.


“Charles Looi is a young crazy producer and script writer, which trying to find his place in the filming industry, leaving his name in the film history.

Inspired by director like “Steven Spielberg” and movies like “The Last Samurai”, “Black Hawk Down”, “Tears of the Sun” and “Hachiko”

He strives to inspire others as much as how he got inspired by others too.”


– En.wikipedia.org, Aparajito– Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.

[online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aparajito

[Accessed: 23 Jun 2013].

– The Apu Trilogy.  http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-apu-trilogy-1959

 04 March. 2001. [Accessed: 23 Jun 2013].

– En.wikipedia.org, Satyajit Ray – Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.

[online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyajit_Ray

[Accessed: 23 Jun 2013].

–  Aparajito (The Unvanquished). http://www.satyajitray.org/films/aparaji.htm

[Accessed: 23 Jun 2013].

– Satyajit Ray quotes. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/s/satyajit_ray.html

[Accessed: 23 Jun 2013].



One thought on “The Journey of growing up

  1. Hi Charles,

    You might want to give more details about what themes the movie entails, as well as the opinions of some critics. Overall, I find your format very organized, although your analysis feels albeit sparse on terms of historical significance. Keep at it! 🙂

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