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Death through Diversity from Ray's Cinematography

Death through Diversity from Ray's Cinematography

Postby Dr. Debasish Bhattacharya on Mon Oct 13, 2003 5:07 am

I was born the year Ray’s Devi released. When I was a child of about 8 years I saw a Ray film for the first time in my life. By that time the film was already a decade old. It was Aparajito – The Unvanquished.

Much of the film went unnoticed, very usual for a child of my age at that time. But, one thing featured even in my dreams at that early age. It was, a flight of pigeons. I saw the movie a number of times later and could appreciate Ray depicting death in such a style and absolute way, which I think Ray had introduced in the world of cinema through his films. The impact was tremendous. It was like an uncanny sound that shatters you through your spine. The moment that shakes the entire cosmos into chaos, showing least of pains of a filmized death scene.

Ray always tried to show death in a different way. He wanted to create the impact of death through his cinematography as the end of life and not just showing death simply as a respiratory wrestling. Death always came in his movies in different shades, in a package of art but never could go unnoticed without creating its deserved impact on the viewers.

Go back to Indir Thakrun’s death in Pather Panchali. The sinking of a deformed metal ware in the pond could create ripples in the mind of the viewers for the sad ending of an unwanted life.

Or, think of the rapist’s death in the forest in Ashani Sanket. If directly shown, it could have been one of the gruesome killing scenes. But Ray had chosen a non-conventional path to show the life sentence for the rapist by three village women. As an outcome we saw violent shivering of the rapist’s forearm till it came to a halt in the flowing mud water of a disturbed stream.

Can we forget Nikhilesh’s mortal ceasing from Ray’s Ghare Baire? Bimala sees her husband’s mortal remains on the horseback. In the next shot the camera zooms over Bimala and stills. In the following shots death steals colour from the frame, bright hues fading, replaced by white on Bimala, her hair receding and all these speak of an irrevocable loss to Bimala, establishing death of Nikhilesh. The immense soundlessness speaks much of the mood of the scene.
Dr. Debasish Bhattacharya
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Location: New Delhi

three more death sequences from Ray’s films…

Postby sk on Thu Oct 16, 2003 8:31 pm

Dr. Debasish Bhattacharya makes a good point. Here are three more death sequences from Ray’s films…

1956 Aparajito (The Unvanquished)
The two deaths, of Harihar and Sarbajaya, are handled with great elegance.

At dawn Harihar lies ill with Sarbajaya sitting beside him though the night. He mumbles, "Ganga". He is asking for a sip of holy water from the river 'Ganga'. Sarbajaya wakes Apu to fetch water from the holy river. Apu brings the water. Sarbajaya lifts Harihar's head and pours the water in his mouth. Harihar's head drops back on the pillow. Cut to a shot of a flock of pigeons taking off and whirling in the sky. Harihar has been freed of his misery...

In the sequence of Sarbajaya's death - Evening, Sarbajaya is sitting leaning against a tree outside her house, awaiting Apu's return. A train passes but she does not react, as she knows Apu is not on this train. Next, we see her sitting in the verandah of the house, expressionless. Suddenly, she hears Apu calling her. She is hallucinating. Hoping that Apu has returned, she drags herself out. As she stands looking for Apu, she sees a group of fireflies swirling by the pond.

Jalsaghar (The Music Room)
After all the guests have left, a drunken Roy remembers the past glory. He proudly introduces portraits of his ancestors to his servant. He notices a big spider on his own portrait. As the candles go out one by one, Roy is convinced that he too must depart with the extinguishing of the last candle. His servant assures that it is almost dawn now so he need not worry about the candles.

In a grand gesture, he mounts his horse and rides at a terrible pace to be violently thrown off. Roy dies as two servants look on tearfully.
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one written by satyajit

Postby ratnakar shashonkarta on Mon May 01, 2006 9:45 am

theres this death concieved by ray himself for a film.none of his previous stories nayok(alluded to a death),kanchanjungha,agantuk had death as a situation in the film.
pikoo decides to use black as a colour as he goes back to the garden to paint flowers and a drop of rain blotches the ink..

your thoughts are very wellput debashish.

i always thought,satyjit's own death was very undeservingly painstaking,less majestic and even after death there was this puny politics of a parha ruffian trying to upstage it during the last rites.somehow there was no closure despite the tiny perpetual "ray's condition remains critical"newsbrief in the papers for ever and ever.the screened acceptance of the oscar in the feeble voice as compared to the usual boom as audrey hepburn looked on was painful too.wish someone closer to him talked more about those days.
ratnakar shashonkarta
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Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 8:15 am

Re: Death through Diversity from Ray's Cinematography

Postby Clashingz on Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:25 am

On learning It is accepted
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:01 am

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