Review: Apur Sansar

Apur Sansar (The World of Apu, Dir.: Satyajit Ray; Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Sharmila Tagore et al.)

Apur Sansar (The World of Apu) is the concluding part of master Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s ‘”Apu Trilogy”.

The Indian word “sansar” may mean both world and family. Both meanings are relevant in the context of the film, as it traces Apu’s blooming into a human being, his explorations on the way as well as the phase of his life where he gains a family, again, having already lost everyone in the family he was born into. Loss is a theme which refuses to desert Apu’s life but our unvanquished hero lives and grows through, and despite, his recurring losses.

Soumitra Chatterjee, later to become one of Ray’s favourites, plays the adult Apu in one of his most memorable performances. Satyajit Ray is considered one of India’s best ever filmmaker, if not the very best – and this film is a testimony why. Apur Sansar features several immortal scenes, each of which etches itself in the viewer’s mind and any of which could serve as the North Star for a budding director as something to match and inspire. Apu’s monologue with his friend Pulu as the sole audience, Aparna’s (Apu’s wife) discovery of her husband’s abode and the final sequence deserve special mention.

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