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The World of Apu


Price: CDN$ 73.62
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Ships from and sold by M and N Media Canada.
3 new from CDN$ 68.99 6 used from CDN$ 61.86 1 collectible from CDN$ 197.01

Product Details

  • Actors: Soumitra Chatterjee, Sharmila Tagore, Alok Chakravarty, Swapan Mukherjee, Tushar Bandyopadhyay
  • Directors: Satyajit Ray
  • Writers: Satyajit Ray, Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay
  • Producers: Satyajit Ray, Aminyanath Mukherji
  • Format: Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : General Audience (G)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Oct. 28 2003
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000CABBM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #121,174 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: VHS Tape
I'm hoping Amazon will place this review so that you read it before the others. Thus you might have a chance, despite Amazon's own over-revelatory review, of being surprised by the plot's twists. Surprise is, after all, one of the things for which artists strive - at least in my book. Having said that, I'll get on with it: The World of Apu is possibly one of this cinema buff's favorite films. Why? Because, along with consistently surprising, Ray reveals so much via oblique, subtle and sensual cues. Ray shares this knack with two of my other favorite directors, Marcel Pagnol and Jean Vigo. If cinema is a visual art yet exposition is a necessity less viewers retain too little engagement with the story and protagonists, Ray's work stands miles above the obvious and over-stated work of much modern, particularly Western, cinema. Indeed, some of Ray's power seems linked to his Eastern/Indian milieu. But Ray's facile intuitive chops are something else - the mark of a great artist. The real feast manifests when you watch this one after seeing the first two in the trilogy. Unforgettable.
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Format: DVD
In Pather Panchali and Aparajito we watch Apu grow into manhood all while he seems to be very unaware of the exotic Indian women swirling about him in all their beauty. This contributes to the subtle humor when he finds himself in a situation where he must save a family's honor.
Apu's ancestral family home has been destroyed; he has lost his sister, father and mother and is now living alone next to a noisy railway. As he faces the realities of existence, he spends his time reading, playing a wooden flute and occasionally looking for work. His job prospects are disheartening at best. His optimism is reminiscent of his father's attitude to life and he is also becoming a writer. His beauty and artistic carefree spirit is always in danger of being funneled into a life of quiet desperation.
After reuniting with his childhood friend Pulu (Swapan Mukherjee), Apu attends a wedding in which he ends up having to make decisions that changes the entire course of his life. Aparna (Sharmila Tagore) and Apu fall in love and yet can we hope that Apu has found true happiness? All hopes are soon dashed as the unthinkable occurs.
As Apu dreams of publishing his own novel, his life plays out a story of impending doom. The scene where he lifts a child from a location close to a railroad is a foreshadowing of an event that soon takes place in his own life. Finally life throws him a challenge he is not willing to face. It takes times for Apu to process the tragedy in his life and finally he is overwhelmed by grief.
Although this movie is filled with tragedy, there are moments of humor. Apu's casual defiance when he turns on the lights amused me because I'm always turning on lights and my husband is always turning them off.
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By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 4 2004
Format: DVD
Having lost his sister and his parents in the first two installments of "The Apu Trilogy," I made the mistake of thinking there was no one left for Apurba Roy (Soumitra Chatterjee) to lose, but Satyajit Ray proves in Apur Sansar ("The World of Apu") that such expectations are foolishness. At that start of this 1960 film Apu has left school before graduation, dreams about being a writer, and is three months behind in his rent, which forces him to sell some of his beloved books. Then Pulu (Swapan Mukherjee), an old college friend, convinces Apu to attend a village wedding. When the groom turns out to have gone insane because of the fasting and meditation in preparation for the wedding, Apu's friend suggests he become the groom so that the wedding can continue and the family's honor maintained. At first Apu dismisses the idea out of hand, but then relents because he does not want the young woman to be cursed forever, and gets married to the beautiful Aparna (14-year-old Sharmila Tagore).
The middle of the film shows the happy time when Apu and Aparna get to know each other and fall in love. Two people who were complete strangers become incredibly close as we see a simple romance that rings true in a way few in cinema ever have before or since. However, after all of the suffering and hard times we have endured to this point in the trilogy it is hard to believe that Apu has finally found happiness, and indeed tragedy follows. We are suddenly confronted with the sense that we have come full circle and that once again our hopes in this story have come down to the fate of one small boy.
Even after three films Ray's genius is in using the camera to show character. What is memorable in these films are always the moments, and not the dialogue.
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By C. Rubin on Jan. 29 2004
Format: DVD
The DVD release contains no extra features; the print quality is good; the movie is remarkable. Too bad Criterion didn't get the Apu Trilogy, but it is essential for film collectors nonetheless.
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Format: DVD
The Apu trilogy is compulsory viewing for whoever is seriously interested in foreign cinema. This is the touching story of Apu, an Indian boy, from small child to early adulthood. Every time I watch these movies I find myself glued to the screen. One of the most famous and respected Indian movie directors, Sayajit Ray succeeded to make of a simple story a lesson in life, wonderfully told through the movie medium.
I recommend it highly. I gave it 4 stars only because they could have made a better job remastering the movies (video transfer and audio).
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