8 Best Films of Satyajit Ray

Today is a very significant day in the Indian Film industry. 2nd May, the birthday of the legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray. He is the winner of Oscar awards and a pioneer in creating some incredible films in India. Besides being a filmmaker, he is an author, lyricist, screenwriter, illustrator, and music composer. A rare and extraordinary talent, entertaining the audience with his immense capabilities, and mind-blowing creations. I felt like sharing the recommended best films of Satyajit Ray, which I have watched several times and still feel like watching again and again.

1. Pather Panchali

Duration: 125 min
Language: Bengali
Year: 1955
Based on the story written by: Bibhuti Bhushan Bandyopadhyay
Cast: Kanu Bannerjee, Karuna Bannerjee, Subir Banerjee, Chunibala Devi

The story revolves around the life of a young boy, Apu, who stays in a remote village in India. He belongs to a very poor family always in debt and struggling to meet their ends every day. He stays with his father, mother, an old aunt, and his elder sister Durga (a significant character in the story). His mother is often bothered and disturbed by complaints from neighbors about Durga’s truants, mainly stealing fruits from the orchards. Apu’s father disappears from the village for 5 months, when Durga felt severely ill and succumbed to death. The story is about the struggle of a family who could not pursue their ambitions, wishes, and desires. Truly one of the best films of Satyajit Ray.

2. Apur Sansar

Duration: 125 min
Language: Bengali
Year: 1959
Based on the story written by: Bibhuti Bhushan Bandyopadhyay
Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Sharmila Tagore

The film is a continuation and part 2 of the film “Pather Panchali”. Apu (Soumitra Chatterjee) has grown up and has moved to the city after the death of his parents. He is a struggling author and wants to pursue his ambitions even if he did not have the requisite money or means to move ahead. An unforeseen situation forces him to marry Aparna (Sharmila Tagore), a young and beautiful girl. They had a warm and romantic relationship but fate was not good for Apu. He lost his wife while she was giving birth to their son, Kajal. The story is about how Apu ket himself detached from his son as he considers Kajal to be responsible for his wife’s death. But eventually, when he meets his son, he could not stop himself from being affectionate towards him.

3. Ashani Sanket

Duration: 101 min
Language: Bengali
Year: 1973
Based on the story written by: Bibhuti Bhushan Bandyopadhyay
Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Bobita, Sandhya Roy

A story when famine had affected the country due to war in 1943 and how food shortages had affected the human life. But still in such situations Gangacharan, a well established villager, tries to save his possessions instead of helping the needy. On the other side, his wife Ananga, is generous and tries all attempts to save and support the community from the famine. Acclaimed as one of the best films of Satyajit Ray.

4. Jalsaghar

Duration: 100 min
Language: Bengali
Year: 1958
Based on the story written by: Tarashankar Banerjee
Cast: Chhobi Biswas, Sardar Akhtar, Gangapada Basu

The movie is about a rich landowner, Huzur Biswamghar Roy (Chhobi Biswas), and his love for music for which he spends lavishly and outdoes his wealth. His addiction was constantly criticized by his wife but in vain. He spends all his money and jewels by organizing a grand party at his house to overshadow his neighbor. Sadly, he loses his wife and son in a storm. The grief engulfed him and he closes his music room. But then again for one last time, he wants to have a final music concert by using up the money he has leftover to outdo his neighbor again. No one cant deny it to be one of the best films of Satyajit Ray.

5. Charulata

Duration: 117 min
Language: Bengali
Year: 1964
Based on the story written by: Rabindranath Tagore
Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhavi Mukherjee, Shailen Mukherjee

The plot reflects the life of a married woman in 1870s, locked up inside the house and unable to showcase her immense talent in literature. Her name is Charulata (Madhavi Mukherjee), and her husband, Bhupati, seldom spends time with her; busy pursuing his ambitions. But he attempts to help her from the loneliness when he introduces his cousin, Amal (Soumitra Chatterjee), a college graduate, to spend time with her. Amal also has a special fascination for literature. It triggers a special bonding and friendship between the two. Indeed one of the best films of Satyajit Ray.

6. Nayak

Duration: 117 min
Language: Bengali
Year: 1966
Storywriter: Satyajit Ray
Cast: Uttam Kumar, Sharmila Tagore

The story focuses on two main characters – Arindam Mukherjee, an established film actor, and Aditi, a journalist. They meet each other in a train, where Aditi starts interviewing Arindam, much to his disagreement. But Aditi’s smartness and intelligence, overwhelms Arindam and he discloses his past, secrets, fears and all details about his life. At one moment, Arindam attempts suicide but his deterred by Aditi. She destroys all that she had written down about him with the thought of not revealing the same to the outside world. The train reaches the destination and both start again their separate lives.

7. Agantuk

Duration: 120 min
Language: Bengali
Year: 1991
Storywriter: Satyajit Ray
Cast: Utpal Dutt, Mamata Shankar, Dipankar Dey

Last of his films. An affluent family in the city is surprised by the visit of a person (Utpal Dutt) who claims himself to be the long-lost uncle of the wife (Mamata Shankar). Though they could not deny the fact of his appearance yet they were suspicious whether he was the right person and also about his intentions. But slowly things start changing when he mesmerized them with his stories of travels and others which are quite different from the regular middle class life.

8. Teen Konya

Duration: 173 min
Language: Bengali
Year: 1961
Storywriter: Satyajit Ray and based on stories written by Rabindranath Tagore
Cast: Anil Chatterjee, Chandana Banerjee, Aparna Sen, Soumitra Chatterjee

Comprising of three stories focused on three female characters. The idea was to create an anthology portraying the life of three girls. One of an orphan girl in a village who is the house maid for the Postmaster of the village. He teaches her to read and write, but eventually had to leave the village due to his ill-wealth which leaves her shattered. The second one is a super-natural story about a woman who is obsessed with her jewels. She dies but then her soul staysb around the house protecting the jewels. The third one is about an unconventional girl of a village. She loves roaming around and playing in the village, oblivion of marriage and other wordly desires. But a young man falls for her and marries her but was unable to bound her into the marriage. He goes away from the village to the city but eventually returns to reunite with his wife, who transforms after his disappearance.

Author

Kuntala

A travel enthusiast craving to explore the exotic destinations in the world, deciphering the mysteries and the thrill concealed in them.

Kuntala

A blogger interested in travelling and exploring new places and sharing ideas with all. Curious about the unique features of a place and its ethereal beauty.

13 thoughts on “8 Best Films of Satyajit Ray

  • May 3, 2022 at 4:55 pm
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    Happy birthday to Satuajy Ray. Some great sounding movies that he was part of x

    Reply
  • May 3, 2022 at 5:09 pm
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    I am a huge fan of old Bollywood movies, I grew up watching them. I am bookmarking your post, thank you so much.

    Reply
  • May 3, 2022 at 7:48 pm
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    I’ve never heard of this director but he sounds very influential. I’m sure his movies are good!

    Reply
  • May 3, 2022 at 8:03 pm
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    I haven’t heard of these films. I would love to watch a few to see what they are about!

    Reply
  • May 4, 2022 at 12:52 am
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    I’m always in search for new movies, not necessarily the last releases, so thank you for your share. Are they available in other languages? – Paolo

    Reply
    • May 7, 2022 at 1:00 am
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      You will get them in subtitles but not in other languages

      Reply
  • May 4, 2022 at 5:32 pm
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    I have not watched any of Satyajit Ray’s films but I bet my mum and aunts are big fans of his as they enjoy movies like this. I hope to watch at least one of these films myself

    Reply
  • May 4, 2022 at 8:06 pm
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    Thank you for sharing these new films with me! I had not known of Satyajit Ray before – and am excited to check out these movies.

    Reply
  • May 5, 2022 at 8:15 pm
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    I have not seen any of these wonderful looking films and will have to check them out 🙂 I am always looking for. anew movie to watch and I am adding these to my list! Thank you for sharing 😉

    Reply
  • May 7, 2022 at 6:14 pm
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    I would like to see Charulata. I can relate to the character in a very small way.

    Reply
  • May 9, 2022 at 3:04 pm
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    These all sound like great films, which are full of culture. I must bookmark some for future reference.

    Reply
  • May 12, 2022 at 2:42 pm
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    Thanks so much for sharing these, I’ve only seen one and I’m always looking to add to my world film list!

    Laura x

    Reply
  • May 23, 2022 at 4:09 am
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    I just discovered Ray and first watched the Apu Trilogy this month, which I loved! Pather Panchali was beautiful! Thank you for sharing your favorites, I will have to watch them.

    Reply

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