He is considered as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. The 36 films directed by him were the masterpieces of the Indian Cinema. Born in the famous Upendrakishore Roy Chowdhury’s family of Calcutta, Satyajit Ray was the only son of Sukumar Roy, a pioneer of the bengali nonsense rhyme
and other marvelous writings. Because of his grandfather & father’s legacy Satyajit bore a great inheritance. In later days, he emerged as film director, screenwriter, lyricist, music composer, calligrapher, illustrator and writer. In other words, the genius followed his immediate bloodline footsteps, on a larger spectrum.
Ray’s first film, Pather Panchali (1955), won eleven international prizes, including the Best Human Document at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival. This film, along with Aparajito (1956), and Apur Sansar (1959) forms The Apu Trilogy. Ray did the scripting, casting, scoring, and editing, and designed his own credit titles and publicity material. Ray received many major awards in his career, including 32 Indian National Film Awards, a number of awards at international film festivals and award ceremonies, and an honorary Academy Award in 1992. The Government of India honoured him with the Bharat Ratna in 1992. Before that, he was honoured with the highest medal of France, Legion de honor. The French President Francoise Mitterrand came to Calcutta and gave the honour. The ceremony was held at National Library.
With Apu becoming a household name in Bengal with the launch of the Trilogy, Ray never had to look back after Apu trilogy. His international career touched its peak with the release of Pather Panchali, and then Aparajito. One of the reviews reflected, ‘the struggle of Apu for a better living and his mother who loved him more than anything.’ The treatment of ‘Apur Sansar’ through the casting of young Soumitra Chatterjee, sent waves through the heartbeats of the young Bengali women.Critics of the time including Ritwik Ghatak, ranked ‘Aparajito’ at a much higher level than that of his first film.
His ‘Teen Kanya’, based on the short stories of three women by Rabindranath Tagore won him the President’s Silver Medal for the best feature film in Bengali.
His Pratidwandi, featuring Dhritiman Chatterjee and Jana Aranya, featuring Pradip Mukherjee in main roles showed that the immense struggle of the youth to sustain a living in the cruel world.
Aranyer DinRatri featuring the tribal region shows how four friends, educated and coming from different financial layers wanted to escape from the daily grinding of the city life.
Sonar Kella and Joy Baba Felunath based on his own creation of the fictional detective character of Pradosh C Mitter alias Feluda, are all time hits.
His Gupi Gaine Bagha Baine and Hirak Rajar Deshe, are considered as the best political satires also.
Till now, he is the only Indian cinematographer to receive the Life Time Oscar award in 1992. His last film, Agontuk shows how the modern urban civilization has become suspicious of the motives of its own near and dear ones when a long-lost uncle arrives to visit his niece in Calcutta.
Satyajit made also excellent documentaries. Rabindarnath Tagore, Bala, Sikkim, Inner Eye and Sukumar Roy are his superb creations.His only hindi film is Satranj Ki Khiladi. Based on the story of Munshi Premchand, Ray created the atmosphere of the Lucknow city just before the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.
May be the present young generation could not see Ray in flesh and blood, but the shadow of the titan will give them the inspiration forever.