Feature Drama | 1950 | Sound | B/W
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Song of the Little Road
A distance of a metre between an old man and a woman sitting with their back showing the screen and she gets up and brings a glass of water for him. She is wearing a saree which is white. This means she is a widow in Hindu customs. She puts the glass down for the old man and calls for her son, Apu. She introduces him to the old man who is Apu's grand uncle. The grand uncle shows affection to Apu. Apu looks nervous. A close up of the grand uncle. He asks the mother of Apu's age and the reply is 'ten last January.' A close up of Apu as he listens to the conversation between the two but still looking nervous. Both adults facing each other as Apu leaves. Mother's fist on her chin, looking solemn. The question is whether to go with uncle or not. His coming was 'unexpected.' nevertheless, this visit is arrangd anually and the bread winner had died. Apu's father died. A close up of the grand uncle as he asks 'how they treat you?' They like my cooking as she says. She still has her fist on her chin looking looking frail and intruiging, that facsinating face. They invited 'me to go to Dewanpur.' But she cannot make her mind. A close up of grand uncle when he asks her to reconsider his proposal as the mother and the child will be 'comfortable' and they can carry on saying their 'family prayers.' The mother fries in the Indian wok and sits beside it on the floor, deeply in her thoughts and focus is closer in her face.
Apu plucks a middle aged man's grey hair whilst the man is taking a nap and then he says to Apu, 'that is enough.' ' He calls Apu as he leaves. Apu comes back. The man asks Apu to open a drawer, 'not that one….the other.' The man is still at the same position. He asks Apu to bring a bag to him, so Apu does. As the man opens the bag Apu just waits and stands. The reward for plucking hair is a coin. Apu gets told to leave. At first Apu walks gradually and suddenly runs with youthful speed through a corridor. He runs and runs. When he comes to a big gate, (rays artistic humour begins to show, an unknown small gate door Apu opens and runs through it. He runs through marchers. He stop until he comes near a building- a Hindu temple. In and around the temple are baboons. As he sees them he has a beautiful smile in his face. There are baboons jumping, hanging and playing. baboona are on top of statute of a tiger. More baboons. Apu walks closer to the baboons. A close up of one of the baboons looking curious and with some human expressions. Apu brings out his hand from his breast that has peanuts and calls for them, 'aai aai aai !'. The baboons are running towards him as he throws food on the floor of the temple. The animals are gathering in force. More and more them gathers as he throws more food for them. A baboon takes a peanut. A close up of Apu as he smiles again. Two baboons jump on a bell, making vibrant noise. Apu observes the noise whilst eating. A baboon rings the bell. A symbol of blessing. The baboon hanging. A baboon takes peanuts from Apu's hand. He just watches. A close up of the baboon eating.
A middle aged landlady women lying on bed, says come Apu's mother. The reply is 'do you want me?', as she comes close. Both women face each other as the landlady with satisfaction asks whether Apu's mother has decided to go with them to Dewanpur next month. 'you suit us for work. Now it is up to you?.' A close up of the mother with a glipse of smile. She has no one here to stay for is going to visit. A close up of the landlady sitting same as before.' All right' as the mother says very solemnly before she leaves the room. The landlady still lying on bed and asks whether Apu's mother had eaten or is she feeling sick. The reply is that she is fine.
The mother walks through a corridor and covers her hair at the same time. Holding her saree as she walks down the stairs and sees her son through a window, lighting a pipe, i.e working. In deep thoughts, she gently fiddles with her hands and then slowly comes down the stairs, very pictureque and effective shooting.
She decided to go with grand uncle. A close up of the poor intruiging mother. Her left hand is on her left side of her face. More view from the train as it moves. A town is seen from the train. A beautiful siluouhette of a hill at dawn as the train moves slowly. The appearance of the theme tune and then a glimpse of the smile of the mother, a moment that gives satisfaction to the viewers. A carriage driven by a cow in a village. Four people walking through a village pathway, the first person carrying a two sacks, one on his head and the other on his left hand. One person passes after another. All five go through a simple door leading to a pavement and a village house made of clay. The mother looks around with little movement. A close up of her as she sits. The same solenm intruging face, looking depressed but at the same time reserved. Apu runs and shouts to his mother, 'a train!' he looks from a window and sees that from a long distance a train in running.
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