This is a real life story inspired by Subir Banerjee, the little child actor who played the iconic role of Apu in Satyajit Ray’s masterpiece Pather Panchali, which even today remains one of the 100 greatest films of all-time.
Great films are written in the history of cinema and film lovers’ hearts, and sometimes even have life-changing influences on viewers. However, actors, especially child actors, in those memorable masterpieces are often times transient figures who withdraw from the public eye and are lost in lives unknown. With love for cinema and admiration for great Indian director Satyajit Ray, Kaushit Ganguly’s “Apur Panchali” put child actor Subir Banerjee’s current life under the spotlight.
In this film, three story lines are beautifully presented to depict three different stages in Subir Banerjee’s life. The first story line is Subir’s childhood where the film uses several minutes of footage from Pather Panchali in its narrative. Then the camera lens are switched towards Subir’s adulthood where the child artist already becomes an average man who gets married and unfortunately loses his newborn baby. The third storyline is about Subir’s current life where he lives alone and worries about making ends meet most of the time. When he is invited to receive an award in a film festival in Germany, he can’t even afford to buy a decent suit. Interestingly, Subir’s life has an uncanny resemblance to what Ray had depicted in The Apu Trilogy. And that’s what inspired director Kaushik Ganguly to create such a film that interweaves drama and real life.
Apur Panchali takes a look inside the life of an iconic child actor and his beyond reel journey. Of memories and tributes, this is a love letter to cinema and Satyajit Ray.