Friday, June 17, 2016

Review of The Pather Panchali Sketch book by Satyajit Ray




Book Name         - The Pather Panchali Sketch Book
Author                  -Satyajit Ray
Publisher              -Harper Collins
Number of Pages -128
Publishing Year   -2016
Edition                  -Hardback
Price                     -1699
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Rating : 5.0

Blurb
In 1955, Pather Panchali made international headlines and placed Indian cinema on the world map. In the sixty years since, the film has acquired a cult status. As has its storyboard which Ray used as his reference to shoot the film. Believed to have been forever lost after the film-maker donated it to the Cinematheque Francaise, the storyboard is now available as a book, along with other interesting and previously unseen aspects on the film. As much a chronicle of the work of a genius as it is a handbook for every aspiring film-maker, this is a collector's edition.

My Review
While I was sorting the set of books for the review, the first book that grabbed my attention was Pather Panchali Sketch Book. I had expected a sketch collection by some artist on the book. But on further scrutiny I was surprised to see that it is an encyclopedia on the movie as well as the industry in that era. 
Starting with a preface by Sandip Roy,forward by Dhritiman Chaterjee, and introduction by Sharmila Tagore the book prepares us to imbibe something big. I was personally let down since I haven't seen the movie neither did I have any idea about the storyline, other than the fact that it is a legendary movie in Indian History. As if comprehending the thoughts of the reader, next section of the book gives a synopsis by the great man himself. The reviews and previews received by the movie at that time follows the synopsis. This helps us realize that the movie was even bigger than what we had expected. 
Then comes the much awaited sketch collection. The sketches left me wondering if Manik da, as he is lovingly called, had seen drawn the sketches after creating the movie because such was the clarity of the conception. He himself has written in an article for 'The statesman' that the whole movie was in my head. The write up of Bijoya Ray brings us  closer to the struggle behind the making of the movie. Articles and writeup by Subrata Mitra, Bansi Chandragupta, Dulal Dutta, Soumendu Roy, Uma Sen, and Subir Banerjee gives us a glimpse and more on behind the scenes. Posters, letters, advertisements, accolades, commemorative stamps and what not. The book is priceless. I am sure it will, find its place in all the film institutes. The paperback copy costs RS.999 and hardcover costs 1699. I recommend the hardcover since it provides the complete feel and will help you preserve the book for ages. You can proudly show this book to your grand children and say " see, what a priceless book I owned."
I recommend the book to all Indians and all movie lovers.
Reviewed for the publisher
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy in exchange for a honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

About the author

Satyajit Ray (1921-1991) is India's most well-known film-maker in international circles and is regarded as one of the greatest film makers ever.