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After living awhile in Benares, 10 year old Apu and his mother move in with her uncle in a small Bengali village. Apu enters a local school, where he does well. By the time he graduates, he has a scholarship to study at a college in Calcutta. So off he goes. His mother is torn by his leaving, and by his growing independence. She loves her son very much and wants him to succeed, but she does not want to be left alone.Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is one of the few films that, ever since first viewing, have reverberated daily in my consciousness--and no doubt on a subconscious level as well.
If somebody wanted to acclaim "Aparajito" as the finest film ever made, I would not offer resistance, though of course that's a kind of meaningless claim to make. It's similar to calling Mozart the finest composer who ever lived--meaningless, yet somehow appropriate.
See "Aparajito" and find out if you don't agree. This film can change the way you look at life and human interaction--forever.
Only slightly weaker, in my opinion, is the first of the three films in this "Apu Trilogy," "Pather Panchali." "Pather Panchali" may be even stronger than "Aparajito" in that it repeatedly reaches heart-wrenching emotional peaks with the slightest of cinematic means. Both films are testimony to the great human heart of Satyajit Ray, surely one of the masterful geniuses of any day, in any medium.
I wish the third member of the trilogy, "The World of Apu," lived up to the standard of the first two. Unfortunately, it's flawed by an excess of sentimentality and melodrama. Still a fine film by ordinary standards, it does fail when measured against its two masterful predecessors. But that's often the way in multi-volume works.
All three films should be seen by anybody who considers film important as a means of human communication, or who cherishes learning about other cultures, or who simply feels in need of some affirmation of the occasional nobility of spirit and mysterious ways of the souls of ordinary human beings.
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