Every life is a "panchali" (story). Cinema has always celebrated lives through stories. Director Kaushik Ganguly picks up one such forgotten life, the life of Apu and attempts for a closure by treading the reel story of Apu. Satyajit Ray's Apu was born with Pather Panchali and then Ray walked him a journey to youth. What happens then? The child actor and his glorious screen story have been celebrated all across, while the real Apu lived miles away from the light and grease walking almost a similar path as his reel counterpart otherwise.
Director Kaushik Ganguly's sheer attempt to suture the celebrated reel and the forgotten real deserves applause much beyond awards. His attempt is archival. The use of moments from Pather Panchali, Aparajito and Apur Sansar alongside Kaushik Ganguly's individual frames helps us cross refer Ray and therefore the more we progress the more it gets difficult to accept the uncanny similarities.
Actors Parambrata Chatterjee and Parno Mitra as Apu and Ashima respectively are very natural and easy with their role portrayals. Several moments in the film will bring a deep heart wrenching effect and are bound to make tears obvious. Ganguly not for once fails to deliver the angst and the pathos of the character Apu through the real Apu. The Apu set by Ray and voiced by Ganguly is bound to forever haunt the Bengali sensibilities much like the character Apu who never left the life of real Subir Bannerjee.
Cinematography and sudden use of documentary style film making and the diffusing frames form the past and present will amaze and "statue" you for moments to come.
To conclude, the story of a journey and the journey of a story both becomes the central theme of Apur Panchali. Definitely a must watch, director Kaushik Ganguly's Apur Panchali traverses the backward path with Apu to ease out the reel and real spaces through moments of parallel evidence.
Critic: Anurima Das
(4 / 5) : Very Good