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Goopy wants to sing and Bagha would love to play the Dhol(drum). They meet accidentally and are helped by King of Ghosts. With newly endowed abilities they land in Kingdom of Shundi where their adventure begins. Written by
The great Satyajit Ray has become one of my favorite filmmakers, and unfortunately it's become very difficult to see most of his films in the US. GOOPY GYNE BAGHA BYNE easily ranks as one of Ray's most intriguing creations - a wonderful family film, which also contains the complex philosophies that enliven Ray's many other masterpieces. In his own film writing, Ray expressed admiration for certain experimental filmmakers who came to prominence during the 50s and 60s, and this film gave him an opportunity to do a bit of stylistic experimentation of his own, while also creating something of a tribute to his father's and grandfather's writings. The results are one of Ray's finest films.
I won't summarize the plot, which is well-described here. But I would point out several outstanding elements of GOOPY AND BAGHA - the first would be Ray's creative use of effects - apparently the film was made on a small budget, but the story is captivating enough that one doesn't really notice - such constraints force a filmmaker to rely upon his own expertise, imagination and ability to improvise and innovate, and in this regard, GOOPY AND BAGHA almost feels like a great, kids version of a 'new wave' film (in the best senses of the term) - willing to try the unexpected, and confident that the unexpected will work well.
A second strength is Ray's creation of a sophisticated family film that has much to offer adult viewers - GOOPY AND BAGHA offers a great amount of hope and strength in the face of a changing world, as the film was made at a time in which momentous and troubling events were occurring throughout the globe. I'm certain that Ray was mindful of this, and sought to incorporate a sophisticated engagement with changes in the outside world into the underlying philosophy in this dreamlike and magical film. Many writers have commented in vague fashion on Ray's 'humanism,' but the worldview expressed is far more detailed and wide-ranging than that term would imply - a well-thought way of looking at life connects all of Ray's films, and that includes this one.
A magnificent film, one very much deserving of wider appreciation around the globe.
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