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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
Still not available on DVD? This film (and it's sequel) are unique for Satyajit Ray, who (except for some tongue-in-cheek detective films)spent his cinematic career portraying the conflicts and contradictions of modern Indian society in films that are both realistic and poetic (like the films of his mentor, Jean Renoir). Many of them feature characters trying to make the transition from traditional, village-based life to modern urban life (e.g. the Apu trilogy, Mahanaghar), or trying to preserve traditions in a world that no longer has a place for them (e.g. Jalsaghar). This is one of the main themes of African literature and cinema as well.
Many of Ray's films also show women trapped by tradition (Devi, Charulata) or using their education and ingenuity to escape from it (Mahanagar). But in the fairy tale world of Goopy and Bagha, both talent and opportunity are given them by divine intervention, because their desire to make music attracts the deity's attention. And when one of them is betrothed to a princess (leaving the other empty-handed) a local king obligingly asks if they need another princess. Contrast this with the plight of Apu in the real India, looking for a job after graduating from college. A prospective employer shows him a large room full of people who spend all day, every day, sorting old buttons into trays.
As other reviewers have mentioned, Ray's fantasy is beautifully photographed, and full of realistic psychological detail (as well as sly humor) which draw us effortlessly into the story. How long will it be before this, and Ray's other films, are available on DVD?
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