Devi (The Goddess) (1960)
Critic Reviews for Devi (The Goddess)
Comparatively baroque and melodramatic in terms of its images and story, it manages to mount a lucid, finally very moving argument against the destructive nature of fanaticism and superstition.
A haunting experience, and should have been, coming from afar from a man born to make movies.
One of Satyajit Ray's greatest early films (1962), full of sensuality and ironic undertones.
It's a film that bears all the hallmarks of Ray's best work: gracefulness, exquisite pacing and composition, love for his characters and a deep regard for the power of silence to tell a story.
Satyajit Ray's study of the destructive power of superstition is typically compassionate; there are no easy villains. Intelligent and moving.
Audience Reviews for Devi (The Goddess)
This is religious fanaticism handled in a way that Westerners could never do... in America, it would probably be a broad comedy, along the lines of Dogma and the like. In Devi it's done much gentler, with sensitivity and beauty. The musical score is outstanding.
"Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon." Akira Kurosawa In that case I am seeing the sun and moon for the first time. The Goddess, otherwise known as Devi, is a simple but memorable tale. Doyamoyee is a young woman living in a rural town in Bengal with her wealthy extended family. Her Husband is studying English, and although she doesn't want him to, he leaves for Calcutta to finish his exams. One night Doyamoyee's Father-In-Law has a vision that Doyamoyee is the incanation of the Goddess Kali, he gets up and falls at her feet. Believing that she is a Goddess, her family and the villagers start worshipping her. Doyamoyee doesn't belive for a second that she is in fact a reincarnation and can do nothing to stop it. Until one day, when a sick child is bought to her and surprislingly is cured. This event leads Doyamoyee to question whther she really could be a Goddess. By this time her husband has now returned and makes an offer of running away from this madness, but she refuses as she can't be sure whether she is a reincarnation or not. When another sick child is bought to her, (her nephew), she fails to cure him. This leads Doyamoyee to run away, and in the beautiful final scene we see her running into the midst uncertain of her fate. Beautifully shot in black and white and surprisingly good, this exceeded my expectations. I look forward to exploring Ray's work more.
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