Pather Panchali (1955) - Rotten Tomatoes

Pather Panchali1955

Pather Panchali (1955)



Critic Consensus: A film that requires and rewards patience in equal measure, Pather Panchali finds director Satyajit Ray delivering a classic with his debut.

Pather Panchali Photos

Movie Info

Pather Panchali (Father Panchali), Indian director Satyajit Ray's first feature film, relates the story of an impoverished Bengalese family. When the father (Karuna Bannerjee) leaves for the city to pursue a writing career, the mother (Karuna Banerji) is left with the responsibility of caring for the rest of the brood. Gradually, the film's true central character emerges: Apu (Subir Banerji), the family's son. Though excruciatingly realistic at times, Pather Panchali takes an occasional timeout to dwell on the purely cinematic. For example, when the mother receives a postcard bearing good news, Ray dissolves to a pond, where a pair of water skates scamper about. The music by Ravi Shankar at first seems to be at odds with the action; soon, however, we come to accept the music as a logical outgrowth of the events at hand. A multiple award winner, Pather Panchali was the first of Ray's celebrated "Apu Trilogy" (the other two entries were 1956's Aparajito and 1959's The World of Apu). The film was also released as The Song of the Road and The Lament of the Path. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Runki Banerji
as Durga as a child
Kanu Banerjee
as Harihar Ray, Harihar the Father
Kanu Banerji
as Harihar the Father
Subir Banerjee
as Apu/Sarbajaya the Mother
Runki Banerjee
as Durga (joven, Durga as a Cchild, Durga as a child
Uma Das Gupta
as Durga as a Young girl
Karuna Bannerjee
as Sarbojaya Ray
Chunibala Devi
as Indir Thakrun, Indirtharkun the old aunt
Umas Das Gupta
as Durga as a young girl
Reba Devi
as Mrs. Mookerjee
Rama Gangopadhaya
as Ranu Mookerjee
Tulshi Chakraborty
as Schoolmaster
Reva Devi
as Mrs. Mookerji
Aparna Devi
as Nilmoni's wife
Tulsi Chakraborty
as Prasanna, school teacher
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Critic Reviews for Pather Panchali

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (14)

[Pather Panchali's] story is told in stark but sensitive manner, with nary a studio prop nor story contrivance to mar its tragic truth. In fact, there is little story to this first directorial effort of young Satyajit Ray, other than that of life itself.

June 19, 2020 | Full Review…

Extremely touching in its simplicity, emotional range and visual beauty, it's no wonder it became the first Indian film to achieve widespread international acclaim and establish Ray as a master filmmaker.

April 3, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Beautiful, sometimes funny, and full of love, it brought a new vision of India to the screen.

May 4, 2015 | Full Review…

It is a pastoral poem dappled with the play of brilliant images and strong, dark feelings, a luminous revelation of Indian life in language that all the world can understand.

October 17, 2011 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Fresh as a daisy after all these years, Satyajit Ray's 1955 spellbinder comes underpinned by a tumultuous Ravi Shankar sitar and paints a ground's-eye portrait of life in an impoverished Bengali village.

October 24, 2007 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Satyajit Ray's beautiful first feature.

October 24, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Pather Panchali

Nothing spectacular at all. Entirely overrated. I like old movies (and foreign films) but hardly anything happens in this one!

Peter Bond
Peter Bond

Super Reviewer


An impressive achievement considering that this was Ray's first film, and he displays an enormous confidence in the direction of this hypnotizing and realistic look into the life of a Bengali family struggling with poverty as witnessed by the eyes of an eight year-old boy.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


it's hard to believe satyajit ray and his cinematographer had never worked on a film before this. they had observed renoir filming the river and with his encouragement and the inspiration of italian neorealism made this poetic masterpiece about life in a small bengal village circa 1920, a really timeless film. i love films about india and i'm looking forward to the rest of this series. there's huge natural talent at work here

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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