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    Aparajito (The Undefeated)

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    Bengali poster of the movie Aparajito (The Undefeated)

    Aparajito (The Undefeated)

    Aparajito     2h 18min
    2022     Drama     India
    Original lang: Bengali

    Anik Dutta's Aparajito -- The Undefeated, in glorious new black and white, is a charming primer and entry point into the world of Satyajit Ray. It is not a biopic, but details show Ray struggled to make his first film, Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road), in 1955. That movie catapulted him and Indian cinema to international attention when it won the Best Human Document Award at Cannes. It is a familiar but fictionalized story: the older generation is awash in nostalgia but speaks warmly to the younger generation, too, as practically every other youngster dreams of making a film some day. Dutta's earlier, acclaimed work, sometimes flecked with satire and political commentary, includes the horror-comedy Bhooter Bhabishyat (2012), the satire Bhobishyoter Bhoot (which was banned upon its release in 2019), and Borunbabur Bondhu (2020).

    Aparajito chronicles Ray's struggles to make a film outside Bombay's stifling mainstream template, without a hero and heroine, romance, or songs. Ray's debut is about two kids, Apu and Durga, and their joys and sorrows growing up in a Bengali village. There are charming insights, such as how legendary cinematographer Subrata Mitra had never held a moving camera before this film, and how, thanks to confusion around the English title, the Bengal chief minister accidentally redirected funds meant for the Siliguri highway to a film called Song of the Little Road! The film is not a roman à clef but a film à clef, with the names of all the characters and films changed for legal reasons yet still recognizable.

    Directed byAnik Datta
    Written byAnik Datta, Sreeparna Mitra, Utsav Mukherjee

    Starring

    Jeetu Kamal
    Saayoni Ghosh
    Debashis Roy
    Paran Banerjee
    Ritwick Purkait
    Saunak Samanta
    Anjana Basu
    Anusha Vishwanathan
    Ayushmaan Mukherjee
    Haro Kumar Gupta
    Anashua Majumdar
    Paran Bandopadhyay
    Barun Chanda
    Samik Bandyopadhyay
    Rohit Basfore
    Rishav Basu
    Sanjay Biswas
    Mahul Brahma
    Bimal Chakraborty
    Sandip Chakraborty
    Tarun Chakraborty
    Apratim Chatterjee
    Nilanjan Datta
    Debal Ghatak
    Richard Herrett
    Shoaib Kabeer
    Uday Sankar Paul
    Asim Roychowdhury
    + MORE
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