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Pather Panchali (1955)

Drama | 115 minutes
3,89 189 votes

Genre: Drama

Duration: 115 minuten

Alternative titles: Song of the Little Road / পথের পাঁচালী

Country: India

Directed by: Satyajit Ray

Stars: Kanu Bannerjee

IMDb score: 8,2 (38.163)

Releasedate: 26 August 1955

Pather Panchali plot

"Song of the Little Road"

First part of the Apu trilogy. In a village in Bengal, a boy grows up in a poor family. His father, a poet cum priest, does not earn enough to support his family, his sister steals mangoes from the neighbor to get food, and his mother squabbles all day with an aunt who lives at home.

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Full Cast & Crew

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Sarbojaya Ray

Indir Thakrun

Little Durga Ray

Seja Thakrun

Nilmoni's wife

Prasanna, school teacher

Chinibas, Sweet-seller

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avatar van Woland


  • 4135 messages
  • 3378 votes

Finally watched this classic, recommended to me years ago by John Milton who also wrote half of the most recent posts here. And I am certainly not as enthusiastic as John Milton, although fortunately this is a very different kind of film than most Indian films I have seen. Pather Panchali is much closer to (Italian) neorealism, with an intimate portrait of the joys and sorrows of a poor family in India. But while it is certainly interesting to get a glimpse into the Indian countryside of 70 years ago, I did not find it very fascinating. The scurrying children, the little suffering, the poverty, the way the family tries to keep their heads above water, it is filmed beautifully and subdued, but it didn't really grab me by the throat. Also because I found the characters a bit flat. I'll check out the sequels sometime, but not for now.

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avatar van Fisico

Fisico (moderator films)

  • 8074 messages
  • 4598 votes

First and best part of the trilogy. Beautiful but at the same time poignant portrait of a deprived person somewhere in the Indian countryside. Atmospheric and cinematographically strongly supported with a suitable local soundtrack.

Not much happens in itself, but the feeling and purpose of the film are good. Poverty and hunger, the will to survive is well expressed. No drama porn or too sentimental, but just enough to impress.

Great characters, but that granny did indeed come out best with that characteristic head without teeth, but with a look to have seen everything. Sincere film in which all characters appear serene with their qualities and flaws. Not a masterpiece as far as I'm concerned, but certainly more than solid.

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avatar van Tommeh


  • 7275 messages
  • 3155 votes

It takes some getting in, the first half hour I mainly thought What's all the fuss about? But slowly but surely the characters come to life and you start empathizing with them. I found the daughter the most interesting. How she has to compete against her "cute" brother and, according to her mother, can do little good, but in the end only wants the best for everyone and (as far as possible) tries to live a carefree life. Her death hit me pretty hard.

The scenes are short, which ensures a nice pace and a nice rhythm. The film gives a nice insight into the "ordinary" life of poor Indians in the last century. Nicely supported by the soundtrack with (of course) a lot of use of the sitar.

Put it at 3.5* last night, but the movie still haunts me. Half there. Wonderful movie.

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