| 1968, India.
132 min, B/W & color, In Bengali with subtitles.
||Purnima Pictures (Nepal Dutta,
|Screenplay & Direction:
||Satyajit Ray, from the story
- 'Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne' by Upendrakishore Ray (Roychowdhury)
||Nripen Paul, Atul Chatterjee,
|Goopy Songs sung by:
|Anup Kumar Ghoshal
|King of Shundi/ King of Halla:
|Barfi, the Magician:
|Prime Minister of Halla:
|Commander-in-Chief of Halla:
|Spy from Halla:
|King of Amloki:
|King of Ghosts:
||Haridhan Mukherjee, Abani Chatterjee,
Khagen Pathak, Binoy Bose, Prasad Mukherjee
|Singers at the court of Shundi:
||Joykrishna Sanyal, Tarun Mitra,
Ratan Banerjee, Kartik Chatterjee
Goopy, a young farmer’s son with a passion to sing and
marked absence of talent, is banished by the king from the kingdom,
as Goopy has the audacity to disturb the king in his slumber with
dreadful singing. Crestfallen Goopy arrives in a forest riding
a donkey. He meets Bagha, a drummer from a neighbouring kingdom,
who too has been banished by his king for his terrible drumming.
Goopy and Bagha soon are good friends and start their terrible
music. They encounter a bizarre dance of the forest ghost. They
manage to please the king of the ghosts, who grants them three
boons – instant food and clothing, instant travel and musical
talent that can spellbind audiences. The key to all the magic is
in two pair of slippers.
Wearing the magic slippers, they arrive in the kingdom of Shundi.
At a music contest held by the good king of Shundi, they enchant
the audiences and win the contest and are given positions as court
Meanwhile, the bad king of Halla, twin brother of the king of Shundi,
wants to declare a war. The king of Halla is not really a bad king
but is drugged and being controlled by the court magician Barfi.
He works for the greedy and ambitious Prime Minister. With their
magic powers, Goopy and Bagha avert the war. The twin brothers,
kings of Shundi and Halla are reconciled and they offer to reward
Goopy and Bagha with their daughters in marriage.
Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne is a delightful, fun film for children
of all ages. The film ran to packed houses in Bengal for a record
fifty-one weeks and was by far the most commercially successful
Ray film. Tapen Chatterjee, then a newcomer, admirably plays the
role of Goopy and Rabi Ghosh, an experienced performer, plays Bagha
in this musical fantasy inhabited by ghosts, kings, crafty ministers,
soldiers, magicians, generals, courtiers, princesses, horses and
About six months after its release in Bengal, ray wrote to Marie
Seton, “It is extraordinary how quickly it has become part
of popular culture. Really there isn’t a single child in
the city who doesn’t know and sing the songs (from the film).” The
film was not well received abroad though. Andrew Robinson, Ray’s
biographer attributes this to its legends, dialogues, wit and lyrics
that cannot be translated effectively.
The film derives its inspiration from Ray’s grandfather -
Upendrakisore Ray’s story - 'Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne'.
Ray meticulously designed its characters and composed the music.
The special effects are definitely not like that of Hollywood films
of the era. Its 6 1/2 minute ghost dance is a sequence to watch
out for. The imaginative vitality of the visualization and execution
make the sequence a visual and aural treat. Ray combined live action,
shadow puppets and Indian percussion instruments –Ghatam,
Mridamgam, Mursring and Ganjra to create the mesmerizing sequence.
- Award for Best Direction, New Delhi, 1968
- President's Gold and Silver Medals, New Delhi, 1970
- Silver Cross, Adelaide, 1969
- Best Director, Auckland, 1969
- Merit Award, Tokyo, 1970
- Best Film, Melbourne, 1970
Other Online Reviews
Goopy and Bagha enjoy their own music in field ©Nemai Ghosh
Goopy and Bagha perfom for the King of Shundi ©Nemai Ghosh
and Bagha with the King of Shundi ©Nemai Ghosh
dance, a sketch by Ray ©Ray Family
Prime Minister of Halla and Goopy ©Nemai Ghosh
king and Prime Minister of Halla ©Nemai Ghosh
and Goopy ©Nemai Ghosh
the magician, a sketch by Ray ©Ray Family
Film Poster by Ray ©Ray Family