1959, Movies

Apur Sansar [The World of Apu] (1959, Satyajit Ray)

At long last, I’ve finish the Apu Trilogy. I no longer remember when I watched the second movie (first). But it was a long time ago. Somehow, in the last few months, I’ve seen both the first movie and third. So, um, hooray!

As I said, it’s been forever since I saw the second movie. I have no memory of it, unfortunately. But I recently saw the first movie, so that’s…something.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Indian film before Pather Panchali. But I have seen a ton of films from prior to 1955. And I know a fair amount about neo realism (as I’ve seen a lot of neo realist films, as well as the films that caused neo realism). And Pather Panchali is among the more remarkable neo-realist films of its era. (Again, I have not seen the sequel in a long time.)

I don’t like World of Apu as much. It has many of the same qualities to start, only set in an urban setting. There’s a lot to like before the marriage, in terms of how realistic it feels for a graduate stuck in a new city. (Though it does feel as though he’s more than a little lucky with his landlord.)

But once he gets married, things feel a little more contrived. I understand it’s based on a book but it feels a little bizarre how he gets married. And then, well, I don’t know how I feel about the rest of it.

But, that being, said, it’s still far more “realistic” than just about anything being made in the West at the time. And, the thing is, though I didn’t love this one in comparison to the first, it still had artistry. (That train shot!) And it completes one of the more audacious narrative arcs in cinema at the time. (Not the most audacious narratives, but one of the most audacious stories.)

So it was worth it for me to see the culmination of the trilogy.


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