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The Apu Trilogy Box Set - Pather Panchali / Aparijito / World Of Apu (3 Discs)

Released on 27 January 2003

Featuring: Karuna Banerjee, Kanu Banerjee & Pinaki Sengupta

Format: DVD | Rating: Universal Suitable for All

5.0 out of 5 (4 customer reviews) | Write a review

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"Pather Panchali": This acclaimed debut by Satyajit Ray is the first part of a trilogy of poetic, lyrical works. A boy named Apu is born to a poor but proud Brahmin family. His loving older sister Durga is a sweet girl but has formed the bad habit of stealing fruit from an aunt's orchard, much to her mother's dismay. Their father Harihar, a poet and lay priest, finds a treasury job that will bring the family steady income for the first time in a while. For a brief period afterward, their mother, Sarbajaya, manages to make ends meet, and the children -- left to their own devices -- run freely. But when Harihar loses his position, he leaves his family with depleted resources to search elsewhere for work. In his absence, their condition deteriorates. Months later, Harihar returns to face the tragedy that forces them to leave their ancestral home.

"Aparajito": This film is the second installment to Satyajit Ray's celebrated "Apu Trilogy." Devastated by a family tragedy, 10-year-old Apu and his parents move to the sacred city of Benares, hoping to build a new life. In Benares, Apu's father Harihar ekes out a subsistence living as a priest reciting religious scripture. Though his family is poor and his mother burdened with cares, Apu runs freely, ignorant of his parents' concerns. One day, Harihar returns from work faint and feverish. Shortly thereafter, he dies. Widowed, Sarbajaya, realizes she has no recourse but to find work. As a cook for a wealthy Bengali family, she makes a decent living for herself and a growing Apu. But she leaves that position to live with her uncle in his village of Bengal. There, Apu excels in school and wins a scholarship to study at a college in Calcutta. Though pleased with her son's academic success, Sarbajaya's health is now failing and she needs him at home. Thus begins the clash between a proud woman and her headstrong son.

"The World of Apu": The conclusion of the triliogy...Living alone in a tenement above the railway, a grown Apu passes his days reading poetry, playing his wooden flute and looking for work. Though poor and without family, he remains hopeful about his future. An unexpected reunion with childhood crony Pulu, provides a respite from his lonely routine. Pulu invites Apu to attend his cousin Aparna's wedding. Moments before the ceremony, they discover the bridegroom's mentally ill and the marriage cannot proceed as planned. So Pulu -- desperate to marry his cousin, lest she be cursed for life -- asks Apu to take the groom's place. Feeling betrayed and outraged, Apu refuses but later, out of friendship, changes his mind. Apu and his delicate bride Aparna slowly fall in love, spending almost every moment together. But marital bliss is short lived, as a terrible tragedy awaits the newfound lovers.

  • Extracts from the BBC's Omnibus 'The Cinema of Satyajt Ray' programme
  • Production notes by Ray biographer Andrew Robinson
  • 'Pather Panchali' storyboards
  • Stills gallery
  • 'The World of Apu Movie Masterclass' documentary
  • Digitally remastered
  • Interactive menus
  • Scene selection

customer Reviews

 Average rating (4 reviews)

 Masterpiece of Indian Cenema

| | See all JVerity's reviews (1)

This truly remarkable trilogy, taken as a whole, should be in any list of the ten films to see before you die. I saw the first, 'Pather Panchali', just after it appeared in the 1950s at a cinema club in Jamaica when I was a child. I have not seen it since but, 55 years later, it is still etched on my memory. Ray is a great story teller with a moving and universal story to tell. He also has a magical touch with actors, even with amateurs and children as is mostly the case with Apu. He also has a great artists eye for light and shade and, working with a fine director of photography, he creates some of the most beautiful pictures ever recorded on film - colour or black and white. I happily recommend this intimate portrait of a boy growing up in rural India and his attempt as a young adult to come to terms with city life.

 Pure cinema

| | See all lascenara17's reviews (97)

Pather Panchali: The best film I have seen in a very long time, this is a beautiful work and peaen to humanity, shot with crisp and exquisite photography. There are a few twinges of melodrama, but throughout this is an absorbing and touching insight into a world of poverty, and how the innocence of childhood unconsciously endeavours to overcome it. Scored with a funky soundtrack of traditional Indian ragas and instruments this is a wonderful film about life that can be appreciated by any society. Magical.
Aparajito: Ray's exploration of the beauty of life shifts in this film from a general concept onto a particular individual, the young boy Apu. Here his life proves to become increasingly challenging but he grows into his own with a new thirst for knowledge and to make something of himself. Though not without heart-wrenching tragedy, 'Aparajito' is nonethless a sublime sequel to 'Pather Panchali' and is replete with all the cool music, beautiful cinematography and warm humanism of the first film.
The World of Apu: Ray's monumental trilogy comes to a close with the most dramatic of the three films, this time looking at Apu's troubled life as an adult. At first bullied into an arranged marriage, he finds it a blessing in disguise, until cruel tragedy again interferes in his life, and it seems this is one pain too many. But, as Ray shows, life is just a balance between joy and sorrow and it is something we all must come to terms with. Less artistic but just as human and emotional as the previous two films, 'Apur Sansar' is a fittingly upbeat conclusion to an incredible series of films and seals Ray's reputation as an underrated master of cinema.

 Simply the best films ever made by an Indian auteur

| | See all Casshivaya's reviews (3)

If you only buy one DVD (or DVD box set) buy this one, as this is the apotheosis of classic Indian cinema directed by its most celebrated auteur. It is heartbreakingly beautiful, unflinchingly and brutally honest and makes utterly compelling viewing. Having seen all three films separately as they were released, which now make up this box set, I viewed them all in a marathon late night session last week in the company of seven of my closest friends, all of whom are hardened Generation X and Y internet-saturated unimpressible film buffs, none of whom had seen the films previously. They were stunned by the simplicity with which the complex issues in the films were presented, and the sheer visual beauty of the black and white films which they described as "masterpieces" and "timeless". The linked chronological narratives of all three films expertly developed the themes Satyajit Ray was exploring, and the consensus was that this was the best night's film viewing we had all experienced. For all those equating Indian films with the Bollywood formulaic products churned out with mind-numbing regularity and indistinguishablity, let me assure you that this is as different from the Bollywood treadmill product as diamonds are from gravel. If you have not seen the films, I envy you the delights you are about to experience.

 The World of Apu

| | See all RJNeb2's reviews (703)

Having suffered privation and tragedy as a child in "Pather Panchali" and "Aparajito", the adult Apu now finds that fate has saved up the worst for last. He has it tough but such is Ray's gifted handling of the material that it makes for an extremely affecting film that features a delightful depiction of young married life and an outstanding performance from Chatterjee as the beleaguered hero.

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ActorsKaruna Banerjee, Kanu Banerjee, Pinaki Sengupta, Santi Gupta, Smaran Ghosal, Subir Bannerjee & Uma Das Gupta
DirectorSatyajit Ray
CertificateUniversal Suitable for All
Year1955 - 1958
ScreenFullscreen 4:3
LanguagesBengali - Dolby Digital (1.0) Mono
Duration5 hours and 23 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.