Decoding five essential films of Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray, the legendary name is worthy enough in the world of film making history. This man has truly changed the vision of Indian cinema, no words are really enough to mention the legacy left by him. A filmmaker, screenwriter, lyricist, graphic designer and calligrapher, Ray was mastermind of all. In the world of cinema, he h ad introduced aesthetics and admiration through his films, most of his works reveal effective determination through a series of mesmerizing characters created by himself.

Mrinal Sen exclaims: What a stupendous experience for Indian viewers, what a great revelation to the world audience. Watching his films gives me a reviewing sense of transition from tradition to modernity and more over his works were appreciated globally.

Ray is the only Indian director to receive honorary Oscar along with numerous awards internationally. His mind was way ahead of its times and his exceedingly wonderful way of portrayal was superlative. He was truly one of the eminent pioneers of Indian cinema, but for me, Ray was someone who portrayed millions dimensions to his creativity. Here are few from his films which are must-watch for everyone.

Pather Panchali: (1955)

With the release of Ray’s debut, Pather Panchali, a new important cinematic new arose throughout the world. Its a simple portrayal of poverty sicken rural family, its a depiction of a little boy Apu, who is accompanied by his elder sister Durga. The plot revolves around the experience of their mother Sarbajaya, who with her husband away, hold the family together. Based on the novel of Bibhutibhusan Bandopadhyay, the movie shows the struggle of poverty of Apu’s family but their simplicity through joy and sensible feelings hold them together.

pather panchali movie poster 1

Ray said he had chosen Pather Panchali for its immense solidarity, “it’s humanism, its lyricism and its ring of truth. The chronicle of the siblings Apu and Durga revolves around their experiences through daily wonders and their laughter in the natural beauty is truly incredible.

“We’ll go see the train when I’m better, all right? We’ll get there early and have a good look. You want to?”- Durga

A tragic promise washes away with sudden demise of Durga. This movie is truly a masterpiece by Ray, whenever I watch it, I fall for its innocence again and again.



When asked by interviewers which was personal favourite among all the films he had made in his 40- year career, Satyajit ray always said, “Charulata”. This film is based on a novel by Tagore “Nastanirh”, which portrays a story of a young, educated and beautiful woman, Charulata who feels lonely in her house due to her husband’s busy schedule. While her husband  Bhupati is busy criticizing the unfair rules of British through his newspaper, he also encourages his wife to flourish her artistic practices. While amidst these, Bhupati’s cousin Amal arrives, he is a very free-spirited man.


Charu and Amal starts spending time together through Amal’s literary valuables, Charu falls in love with Amal. Through the film Charulata, Satyajit ray has done a brilliant job to portray the classic tale of Tagore, through subtitles of change in people’s loves and the complexities within relationship.

Nayak: (1966)

Nayak, acted by Mahanayak Uttam Kumar is another masterpiece by Ray, Nayak is probably the most loved among Ray’s films, the plot revolves around the emotional battles of a cinematic idol that makes the film relatable to human. Its about ups and downs of an actor’s life, Uttam Kumar’s character chooses his life  for cinematic universe rather than choosing his passion over theatre. But there is a regret in his behavior despite of his sky-high success in the film industry. The filmy narrative of Nayak has affected the views by its minimalism.


The protagonist, Arindam who had achieved stardom in a quick span of time, despite of his popularity, he had always bared emptiness towards his self values of  morality. This movie starts with Arindam’s screen image, his star value while it adds charm to the character of Aditi an editor for a newspaper who is not at all follower of Bengali cinema due to lack of realistic plots in here. So the story revolves around an interview of Arindam taken by Aditi, just to enrich her newspaper views. While discussing his stardom, Arindam unwillingly exorcised his past, the luminous presence of realistic move throughout the film. No, doubt, Nayak is one of the well-curated films in 1960s.

Aranyer Din Ratri: (1970)

When I need to choose best films from vastness of Satyajit Ray, its not very easy to pick one from his creations. Aranyer Din Ratri is obviously one of his best films by Ray. This story revolves around a plot of a journey of four friends from Calcutta, they venture out to the forests of Palman for a holiday excursion.


By the meantime they reaches a farmhouse across a forest in Bihar. Through a series of episodes, adventures, romance if four youthful friends revolves throughout the fact. A group of Calcutta city stickers including well-known Asim head out for a weekend voyage. Satyajit Ray’s beautiful study of a man, nature is a blend of lovable intellect. Ray’s perfection in storytelling reached its pinnacle with this film. The brilliant actors Soumitra Chatterjee and Sharmila Tagore had added few more charms to the cinematic excellence.

Jalsaghar: (1958) 

Jalsaghar, the film is all about a zamindar character, played by Chhabi Biswas enjoys life listening to music and his aristocracy is maintained with his nawabi luxury is full of dancing and singing parade of Jalsaghar.

Jalsaghar_The Music Room_Poster

He was not protective about his huge property, amidst of luxurious lifestyle and hosting ‘asor’ , he didn’t even manage his huge amount of zamindari. But things take worse turn when his properties are devastated by flood. Chhabi Biswas, the zamindar is just but other-worldly man who loves to enjoy and engulf himself in the luxury rather than managing his zamindari. Jalsaghar is truly one of the most realistic films Ray has ever made.

Satyajit ray, an epitome of rare talent through his mastermind has won our hearts for decades and decades. His authenticity and portrayal of realistic stories into the films has made us fall for his creations. Whether it be the genre of children like “Goopi Gayen Bagha Bayen” or “Hirak Rajar Deshe” or the detective genre like “Sonar Kella”, from Mahanagar to Asani Sanket, Ray has proved his extraordinary skills again and again.

Truly my words for Ray is..

“Maharaja Tomare Selam!!”

I truly express my solidarity to the world famous film maker Ray through his own words from songs –

“Bolo emon raja kojon raja hoi!!”













































































































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