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The World of Apu [Apur Sansar] (1959)

Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Sharmila Tagore, Shapan Mukerji, more...
Director: Satyajit Ray
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Classics, Drama, Foreign, India, Classic Drama, Classic Drama
Running Time: 107 min.
Languages: Bengali
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

This title is currently out of print.

Originally released in India as Apur Sansar, The World of Apu was the last of Satyajit Ray's "Apu Trilogy." Pather Panchali (1955) covered Apu's early years in his native village, while Aparajito (1956) detailed his school years and the tragedy that temporarily brought him back home. Now Apu (Soumitra Chatterjee), having abandoned college due to lack of money, hopes to find success as a writer. He is sidetracked from this goal when he meets Aparna (Sharmila Tagore), whose impending wedding is canceled when the groom turns out to be mentally unstable. To save Aparna from a custom-dictated life of spinsterhood, Apu marries her himself. When she dies giving birth, the grieving Apu cannot bring himself to meet his son, and in fact deserts the boy for five years before learning how to gracefully accept his lot in life. Like the other entries in the trilogy, The World of Apu was based on Bibhutibhusan Bandopadhaya's semi-autobiographical novel Aparajito. In the manner typical of his earlier works, director Ray adopts a straightforward, realistic approach, avoiding any sort of attention-getting directorial techniques, the better to simply tell his story. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

[description from the Satyajit Ray Film and Study Collection used with permission]

This is the third film in director Ray's acclaimed APU TRILOGY.

GreenCine Member Reviews

Exquisite by RMorris May 13, 2007 - 2:03 PM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
The story between the characters of Apu and his wife is, in my opinion, the most most beautifully told love story in the history of cinema. It is told almost completely by facial and body expression, turns of the head, the mouth, a few honest words in a love letter. Unfortunately, it only lasts for a short time, but it is the centerpiece for most of the story in this film. Apu at some point realizes that the love letters of his simple wife have more poetry in them than he is capable of rendering in a novel, and he abandons his ambition to be a writer. The end of the film, reuniting with his son, is also beautifully and honestly told. It is a fitting end to the trilogy.

For Those Interested in Old India by squad January 25, 2005 - 11:25 AM PST
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Tender with a meditative pace, the Apu trilogy is a prolonged study of Brahmin life in Bengal in the early twentieth century. Graceful movements of actors is remarkable. Would have been better in color, but understandably this may not have been an option for the film maker. I'm not sure if someone without an intense interest in India would get through the trilogy. Of the three films I would say that "Aparajito" was the most interesting with a good look at Banares on the west bank of the Ganges River. It was unclear to me if Apu's father was harmed by a competing priest. The priest appeared to me as being malevolent, but it was inadequately explained in the movie. The first film "Pather Panchali" was a very good presentation of life in rural India, quite timeless but the influence of the Raj was evident in telegraph lines and railroads. Of the three the last, "The World of Apu", was the most modern, though the timeless themes of love and sorrow are anything but new. It has a beautiful romantic component. It was interesting to see Apu as a man come full circle. All in all a tragic trilogy that somehow embraces life as it once was in India and leaves one with a feeling of acceptance.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 8.38)
125 Votes
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