Undoubtedly, one of the greatest film makers of India, Satyajit Ray was a man who took India to the world stage of movie making. He’s the creator of realistic Indian cinema, whose intellect and out-of-box story telling has not only inspired the nation, but also earned him appreciation from the global film fraternity. The magic of his movies like ‘Pather Panchali’ still continues to live on and inspire generations. Renowned worldwide for his exclusive style of script writing, graphic designing and storytelling, Satyajit Ray has directed 37 outstanding classics in total, during his lifetime. Among them, here are top 10 critically acclaimed and unforgettable movies by Satyajit Ray.
10. Aranyer Din Ratri (Days and Nights in the Forest):
The cult classic was released in 1970 and earned positive reviews from critics for the execution of its screenplay. The film was about a group of friends who decide to take a break from their busy city life and spend some time exploring jungles. But, as the story moves ahead, strange things start happening and arouse the interest of the audience.
9. Asani Sanket (Distant Thunder):
Asani Sanket is a true cult movie based on the times when West Bengal got struck by one of the worst famines during British rule in India. It depicts the ruthless attitude of the British Government who took away the entire stock of food and left the people to die without medical care and other amenities. And, around the same time World War II begins and the situation on ground worsens further. The movie was critically acclaimed the world over.
8. Nayak (The Hero):
Nayak is a marvelously crafted classic movie that revolves around the life of a famous Bengali film star. The star is invited to New Delhi to receive a prestigious award. He travels by train (due to unavailability of plane tickets) to his destination where he has to collect an award and meets a young female journalist (played by Sharmila Tagore) on board. The journalist plans to secretly interview him for her magazine. Then follow some interesting escapades which make this movie a truly interesting watch.
7. Mahanagar (The Big City):
Mahanagar is a story about a typical Bengali family residing in a metropolitan city of Kolkata. Subrata Mazumdar is the sole breadwinner of his family that comprises of his old parents, younger sister, wife Arati and a son. But, his salary never seems to fulfill the needs of the family and Arati decides to take up a job to shoulder responsibilities of her husband despite facing opposition from husband and father in law. Many escapades follow, and at the end she leaves her job.
6. Charulata (The Lonely Wife):
Charulata is an adaptation from a story written by Rabindranath Tagore. Charulata is portrayed as an intelligent wife of Bhupati who runs a political newspaper in the city. Due to his busy schedule, he rarely finds time to spend with his wife. There arrives Bhupati’s younger brother Amal on scene. As time passed Amal and Charulata develop an intimate relationship between them. But, he realizes his mistake later on and leaves for England for higher studies. Eventually, Charulata’s husband learns about their relations, but in the end he decides to forgive his wife.
5. Pratidwandi (The Adversary):
This is the first one in the much famed City Triology series by Ray. This movie is only one of its kind in the Indian film history and is set up against the Naxalite uprising. The movie can be termed as more stylish when compared against others in the director’s oeuvre. He camera work and editing seems to be carrying a modern Ray touch.
4. Agantuk (The Stranger):
The story is about Anila and her family who receive a letter one morning from a man claiming to be her uncle. Anila then recollects, the letter could have been of her uncle who was supposed to be long dead as he wasn’t in touch with anyone in the family. The day arrives when this gentleman comes to their house. Anila’s husband suspects him from the very beginning. But, the stranger proves totally harmless and one fine morning he leaves the house without informing anyone.
3. Ganashatru (Enemy of the People):
The movie is an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play, An Enemy of the people. The narrative is set up in a town of temples that sees lots of tourists visiting every year. Only then a health disease spreads in the city and Dr. Ashok Gupta played by Soumitra Chatterjee finds his levels of polarity plummeting.
The story of Jalsaghar revolves around a zamindar living with the last glories of his erstwhile royal empire. Living with an inflated sense of glory when his ever drying funds suggest otherwise, the tale brings up with an emotional angle as it proceeds. The movie ends with the death of the zamindar who had by the time reached the very fag end of his journey in life.
1. Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road):
The most critically claimed of the Apu Triology series, Pather Panchali brought international recognition and fame to this great filmmaker. The story revolves around a poor Brahmin family based in a remote village in Bengal. The main protagonists are Durga and her brother Apu who had a life of their own to lead despite harsh circumstances. The picture concludes with the family leaving for Banaras in search for better living.