Satyajit Ray John Simon - Essay

John Simon

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[It] was indeed a miracle for even so modest a talent as Satyajit Ray's to emerge with Pather Panchali two decades ago. It is not so much that Ray's films are slow, or pallid, or derivative, or choppy, or technically rudimentary—though they are all of these things, too—as that they are, for the most part, dull. Pather and the other two films of the so-called Apu Trilogy seemed better than what followed, perhaps because of the novelty of seeing films from India. What impressed me in Ray's later films was the infallible gift for making things come out less varied, dimensional, moving (in both senses) than life.

Some of this is not the fault of Ray, but of the political mess and...

(The entire section is 493 words.)