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OPENS SEPTEMBER 15
In the third film in the trilogy that began with Pather Panchali, the grown-up Apu (Soumitra Chatterjee) discovers the world beyond village and university life—and beyond the austere naturalism of the two previous films. More eventful and fast-moving than its predecessors, this 1959 effort (adapted again from the writing of Bibhutinhusan Banerjee) is also more melodramatic and contrived: Fledgling novelist Apu is drafted as a last-minute substitute for a deranged bridegroom, comes to love his wife Aparna (Sarmila Tagore), is devastated when she dies in childbirth, and thus rejects his son Kajal (Alok Chakravarti). (Most of this plot line was lifted by Gregory Nava for My Family.) If not as striking as the earlier films, this has many lyrical and moving sequences, as well as a few sharp twists: Note, for example, how the trains that represented escape in the earlier films now signify Apu’s captive poverty. At the Key Theater, 1222 Wisconsin Ave. NW. (202) 333-5100. (Mark Jenkins)