I am an ardent Satyajit Ray fan. I have seen all his movies, not just once but many times over. I wonder if we will ever have another writer-director-storyteller of his league ever in this country and NO, I am not exaggerating. If you have seen any of his works you would know.
While there are many many favourites Charulata, Apur Sangsar, Ghare Baire, Sonar Kella, Jai Baba Felunath, Teen Kanya, Shakha Proshakha, Aguntuk, Gupi Gayan Bagha Bayen…okay I realize I should stop….so let me go right away to, the movie which amazes me everytime I see it, Hirok Rajar Deshe.
The second instalment in the Gupi-Bagha series, Hirok Rajar Deshe is an evergreen movie. It’s humorous alright, stars the stupid village bumpkins Gupi and Bagha, but at its heart it is a scathing socio-political satire. The fact that it stars Utpal Dutt in the titular role uplifts it another million notches.
It’s the story of how education and awareness helps the people of Hirok Rajar Deshe defeat the tyrannical king, simple right? But just like 1984, the book, which amazes you with its depth and relevance, this film will blow your mind. And yes there is a harmless Magoj-Dholai machine, a machine to brain wash people into believing what the king wants them to believe…sounds familiar right? It reaffirms your faith in the fact that however insignificant one might be in the scheme of things, if the intent is right and you believe in your cause, it needs only one person to sow the seeds of a revolution (and history can vouch for it)
Ofcourse it has some phenomenal performances, but what takes the cake are the dialogues….like the mad scientist asking the king ‘Groho Nokhotro kichhu muchhe phelte hobe?’ (Should I eliminate some stars and planets) when the astrologer predicts a doomed future for the king. Or when the king orders for the only School in Hirok Desh to be shut down ‘joto beshi jane, toto kom mane’ (the more they know, the less they obey)
The most memorable of them all is the one right at the end, as the people tug at the tall statue of the king shouting ‘Dori dhore maro taan raja hobe khaan khaan’ simply translated…down with the king!
Who knew a few years later, the world will witness a similar scene…circa 2003 Baghdad!
So this A2Z let D be for Daring to do what you believe in!