If you ever feel like you've got it tough, watch the Apu trilogy by Satyajit Ray. The World of Apu
is the third story in Ray's magnum opus. And yes... things can
get worse for our hero, Apu (Soumitra Chatterjee). By now it's the early 1930s, and Apu is a grown man. A dreamer and a writer like his long-dead father, Apu is working on a novel about his life.
When his best friend Pulu (Swapan Mukherjee) asks him to his sister's wedding, Apu has no idea that he'll be the one going home with the bride. Poor Aparna (Sharmila Tagore) is betrothed to an insane man and when his illness becomes apparent, the wedding is cancelled. But Aparna will be cursed unless another bridegroom is found. Apu, in a weak moment, agrees to marry Aparna in return for a job.
Then the unexpected happens. Aparna and Apu fall deeply in love. But will it last? Knowing Apu's luck in the past, the obvious answer is "no," and when Aparna dies in childbirth, Apu is left hating his son, Kajal. Finally, driven by guilt, Apu approaches his son, five years after the death of his beloved wife. Will they be able to salvage some happiness in an already too bleak life? You won't be disappointed in the outcome.
This last installment will leave you wishing Ray had made Apu IV. The music is by Ravi Shankar. --Luanne Brown