Pather Panchali

November 22nd, 2010

One word… NEOREALISM! This movie was gushing forth the essence of neorealism. Umberto D looks nothing compared to this. The whole movie from beginning to end was like a documentary of the life of Appu and his family. From the beginning we are thrown into their live, from when Appu is born. We are forced to live with them in misery and their struggles. The movie was really mundane. The acting was remarkably so natural that it seemed real. I could hardly tell that the characters were acting, as they actually seemed like the characters they were playing.

We live with Appu and his sister Durga. There were several scene which I found memorable, but the most memorable was when Durga died. I had no idea that Durga would die and I was shocked when it happened. We are with Durga from the beginning of the movie, even before Appu comes into the movie, and we as viewers become familiar with her as time goes on. The scene was even more shocking becuase we are shown the turmoil in terms of nature as well. It almost seems like the weather represents death and that it has come to take her. We see Durga struggling in her sleep, all the while her struggle is represented in the stormy weather as it attempts to open the windows and come in. Eventually it breaks in and sweeps her away with it. The director made perfect use of the weather to truly make us experience the intensity of the scene, I must say, he succeeded.

Another shocking event in the movie was after Durga’s death. We see that Appu finds the necklace that Durga was formerly accused of stealing and instead of being dissapointed with his sister, he cares more to preserve her dignity by throwing the necklace away. This scene truly signifies his love for his sister as he doesn’t tell his parents about it when he can easily do that as his sister is no longer alive and can’t hit him for it. I was shocked just as much as Appu upon seeing the stolen necklace because we are not shown the neckllace afterwards at all and as a viewer I thought that it was a misunderstanding because they are poor and are blamed because they can’t afford the necklace.

Anyways this was a great movie and I doubt any movie can better portray the neorealism genre than this movie did! Great movie, enjoyed it!

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2 Responses to “Pather Panchali”

  1. Amy Herzog on November 24, 2010 1:35 pm

    So glad you enjoyed this as much as me– it is a very challenging movie, because there is so much suffering, but as you make clear, Ray visualizes the problems the family suffers with tremendous feeling. Definite influence of neorealism, and the links between the environment and the internal conflict of the characters also have a long literary tradition.

  2. khan on November 28, 2010 10:58 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to read the post! I greatly appreciate it!

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