Satyajit Ray, was a towering figure in the world of cinema. He studied at Calcutta University and later joined Shantiniketan, Rabindranath Tagore’s university to study art. Ray began his career as a commercial artist (1943-56). He founded Calcutta’s first film society in 1947 and made his first film, Pather Panchali (1955) while working at an advertising agency. Pather Panchali was an immediate success and won GRAND PRIX at the Cannes Festival. The success of Pather Panchali gave Ray total control over his subsequent films. Two sequels based on the novel (Aparajito-The Unvanquished, 1956; Apur Sansar – The World of Apu, 1959) completed the acclaimed ‘Apu Trilogy’. What followed was a long career as a world-class filmmaker. Until 1981, he would make a feature length film every year. His later films included ParashPathar (The Philosopher’s Stone, 1958), Jalsaghar (The Music Room, 1958). Devi (The Goddess, 1960), Teen Kanya (Two Daughter, 1961), Kanchanjungha, (1962), Mahanagar (The Big City, 1963) Charulata (The Lonely Wife. 1964), Kapurush O- Mahapurush (The Coward & The Holy Man, 1965), Nayak (The Hero, 1966, Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne Adventure of Goopy & Bagha (1968), Pratidwandi (The Adversary 1970), Shantranj Ke Khilari (The Chess Players, 1977), Joi Baba Felunath (The Elephant God, 1978), Ghare-Baire (Home and the World), 1984), and Shakha Proshakha (Branches of the Tree, 1990). In 1961, Ray revived Sandesh, a children’s magazine founded by his grandfather, to which he continued to contribute illustrations, verses and stories throughout his life. He made a significant contribution to children’s literature in Bengali. Most of his fiction was written for teenage children. His detective stories and novels were particularly popular with them. His stories are unpretentious and entertaining, The subjects included. Adventure, detective stories, fantasy, science fiction and even horror. In 1992. He ACHIEVEMENT LIFETIME Oscar from his sickbed in Calcutta through a special live satellite-television event and Bharat Ratna the ultimate honour from India.
The film is set in Calcutta, mid 1950. The drama begins with a vignette of a lower middle-class family. We meet the joint-family: Subrata Mazumdar, his wife Arati, their young son, Subrata’s unmarried sister Bani, his father, a retired schoolmaster, and his mother. Subrata, a bank employee, with his meager income finds it difficult to provide for his large joint family.
Arati is like an anchor holding the family together. Subrata talks about a couple where the woman too is going to work. Soon, Arati makes up her mind to take up a job to supplement the household income. With some help from Subrata, and much against established custom and opposition of the elders, she finds a job of door-to-door selling of sewing machines.
Going out to work. Discovers a new life. She proves successful in her work and gains self-confidence. Subrata now feels insecure and resentful. His father too puts pressure on his son to force Arati to quit the job. Subrata asks Arati to quit as he plains to earn more by moonlighting.
The next morning, before Arati can give in her resignation, Subrata telephones her and asks her not to resign as he has lost his job. Now, Arati is the only earning member of the family. Subrata suffers as he watches his wife go out while he sits in bed and scans newspapers for jobs. They begin to grow apart.
Arati has found a new friend in a colleague-Edith, an Anglo-Indian woman. Her boss not like Edith due to her being an offspring of our ex-rulers.’ Blinded by his prejudice, he accuses Edith of loose character and fire her. Arati asks her boos to apologise to Edith. He refuses and warns her about her own job. Arati bands over her old resignation let and walks away. Now neither Arati nor her husband has a job. On her way out, she meets Subrata. After the initial shock, the reconcile and are close to each other once again. Subrata understands her. Arati ponders that in such a big city at least one of them sure to find a job. As they walk into the city crowd, the camera tilts up to a street lamp.