Archive for March 22nd, 2008

Sonar Kella, Ray and Indian Railways!

March 22, 2008

There are a couple of memorable sequences in Sonar Kella; one is the (blind?) street singer and her music, which starts of very faint and grows into such a hauntingly beautiful sequence. The other is of course the trains in the desert which Feluda and his gang try to chase and stop on their camels (YouTube).

Vijay Nair, in a nice piece in Hindu writes about Ray and the railways that figure prominently in his movies, with specific reference to his Apu triology and Sonar Kella:

But the most delightful use of the railways was reserved for the all-time favourite of Bengali children — “Sonar Kella”. The train is omnipresent in this fantasy. It leads to all the interesting plot points in the film, including the breathtaking denouement where the criminals meet a just end at the hands of the ubiquitous “Felu Da”. Not to mention that riveting first meeting between the detective and “Jatayu”, famous writer of detective fiction inside a train. You don’t need to be either a Bengali or a Ray fan to laugh out aloud while watching this scene, rife with understated humour.

Ray must have been eternally grateful to the Indian railways for letting his creative juices flow unabated through the filming of so many of his classics. We, as appreciative audience, can only pay homage to this love story that endured all through his prolific film career.

Take a look!

PS: It is not just Ray who liked to film Indian Railways: Mani Ratnam (Chayya Chayya) and Ramesh Sippy (Sholay) comes to my mind immediately.