Regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of world cinema, Satyajit Ray created a legacy that has the mélange of oriental emotion and western precision that took his creation to the zenith of success. His films carry the essence of values, importance of heritage and uphold humanity above everything. The great creator passed away at the age of 70 on April 1992.
Let us revisit his brief filmography through these iconic posters
By Syed Faiz Ahmed
With little boy Apu being the protagonist, the film is an adaptation of a Bivutivushan novel; a depiction of rural Bengal and its transformation.
Apu’s family migrates to Benaras when his father dies. It is the story of his adolescence till his mother died.
Parash Pathar (1958)
This is a comedy based on magic realism, adopted from a short story of Rajsekhar Basu, known as Porshuram.
This movie depicts the trauma of transformation with Chaabi Biswas playing the role of a decadent Zamindar.
Apur Sangshar (1959)
This is the final part of the Apu Trilogy. Apu got married in a bizarre consequence and the young couple started a romantic endeavor amid scarcity. The wife dies while giving birth to a child and Apu goes into oblivion but later comes back and the movie ends with a beautiful reconciliation scene of the father and the son.
The story revolves around a married couple Dayamoyee and her husband Umaprasad The film takes a turn when her father-in-law Kalikinkar Choudhuri, starts believing that Dayamoyee is an avatar of the goddess Kali.
Teen Kanya (1961)
The film contains three stories, the postmaster, Monihara and Samapti, all written by Rabindranath Tagore.
Rabindranath Tagore (1961)
The documentary was made in English about the great poet.
The movie depicts the scenic beauty of Darjeeling and shows some critical human relationships.
Ironically the movie may not be one of the most popular ones but Martin Scorsese, who credited Satyajit as one his greatest inspiration, made his ground breaking movie The Taxi Driver in 1976 with his main character as the prototype of this very move.
The film shows the never-ending struggle of the urban lower middle class families.
The film was adopted from a Rabindranath Tagore story Nastanir but Ray gave his own flair to it
Satyajit was a great admirer of silent film and he made this silent short film under the banner of Esso World Theater at the request of a non-profit American public broadcasting television, PBS.
The film portrays the child-rivalry with the help of world of noise and that of music.
Kapurush O Mohapurush (1965)
The two films show two different kinds of personalities. Kapurush or coward, a man who lets his passionate lover down and Mahapurush (meaning great man in Bangla) an imposter, who claims to be a holy man and then takes advantage of innocent men.
The first juxtaposition of two great personalities- Satyajit and Uttam Kumar is seen together in the film.
The film was another Satyajit-Uttam collaboration and the story was taken from Byomkesh series, written by Saradindu Bandapaddhay.
Gopy Gyne Bagha Byne (1968)
The movie was adopted from the story of Satyajit’s grandfather Upendra Kishore Roy Chowdhury and this is one of Satyajit’s best works.
Arnyar Dinratri (1969)
The movie is based upon a story of Sunil Gangopadhyay.
This is Satyajit’s most dialectic film
Seema baddha (1971)
The film is based on a novel of Manishankar Mukharjee, who is famously known as Shankar.
Satyajit made the documentary upholding the sovereignty of Sikkim. The film was banned in 1975 after India acquired the state. The ban was lifted on September 2010 just to be banned again two months later.
The Inner Eye (1972)
The short documentary film was made on Benode Behari Mukherjee, a blind artist and a teacher from Visva-Bharati University, a university founded by Rabindranath Santiniketan.
Ashani Sanket (1973)
The film was made on a story of Bivutibhuson Bandopaddhay describing the traumatic time of The Great Bengal Famine of 1943, the worst in human history. Bangladeshi actress Bobita got global acclamation by acting in a key role.
Sonar Kella (1974)
Felu Mitter, known as Feluda, a prototype of Sherlock Holmes was created by Sattyajit. This movie is about the adventures of Feluda, the most popular detective in modern Bengal literature.
Jana Aranya (1975)
This movie is the last of the Calcutta Trilogy and the story is based upon a Shankar novel. This is the only movie where Satyajit ended the movie in sadness, indicating no hope for the future.
This is a 43-minute documentary film about a Bharata Natyam dancer, Balasaraswati, fondly known as ‘Bala’.
Shatranj ki Khiladi (1977)
The movie is based on writer Munshi Premchand’s short story with the same name. This is Satyajit’s first Hindi movie.
Joy Baba Felunath (1979)
This film is based on another book of Feluda.
Hirok Rajar Deshe (1980)
For many, this is Satyajit’s magnum opus.
Another Hindi movie adopted from Premchand, the theme focusing on the caste system of India.
Ghare Baire (1984)
The film is based on a Tagore story with Satyajit adaptation. The central theme is the emancipation of women and what it does to them and to the men who love them, a theme that often was present in many of Satyajit’s works.
Sukumar Roy (1987)
The documentary was made on his father, one of the most versatile creators of his era, who died at the age of 35.
The film is an adaptation of the great Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s famous play, Enemy of the people
The screenplay written by Satyajit deals with four generations of a well-to-do Bengali family, with a focus on the third generation.
This is Satyajit’s last film, based on his own story ‘Atithi’. Befittingly it holds his philosophical stance perfectly. Perhaps this is his most philosophical movie and perfectly describes the endeavor he sought throughout his life.