Ray Review: Tribute to Prolific Filmmaker Satyajit Ray

Ray Web Series : Netflix's Tribute To The Legend Satyajit Ray

By Anjali 

“Society needs a mirror to contemplate itself in it. Once we see what we have done then only we can learn”. Similarly, Satyajit Ray’s stories are like a mirror to society. And, to greet one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of cinema there could not have been a finer way. The year 2021 points to the birth anniversary of prolific filmmaker-writer to a whole generation that is possibly unversed with his legacy. “Ray”, an OTT Platform Netflix anthology series that is directed by Srijit Mukherji, Vasan Bala, and Abhishek Chaubey attempts to relive the stories of Legend Satyajit Ray. This drama series is based on four short stories written by Satyajit Ray. Four of them were Spotlight, Bahurupi, Bain Bhowmik-er Byaram, and Bipin Chowdhury-r-Smiritibhrom. 


‘Forget Me Not’ is based on Bipin Chowdhury-r Smritibhrom. This segment stars Ali Fazal, Shruthy Menon, and Sweta Basu Prasad. ‘Bahurupiya’ is inspired by Bahurupi which stars Kay Kay Menon and Rajesh Sharma. ‘Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa’ took inspiration from Barin Bhowmik-er Byaram and stars Gajraj Rao and Manoj Bajpayee. Last but not the least segment, ‘Spotlight’ is based on Satyajit Ray’s short story of the same name and features Harshvardhan Kapoor, Chandan Roy Sanyal, and Akanksha Ranjan Kapoor. It needs no further explanation about the impeccable filmmaking skills, writing dexterity, powerful stories which gave him recognition in India outside Bengal. 

Netflix Original Series, ‘Ray’ is produced by Viacom 18 with three distinct directors Srijit Mukherji, Vasan Bala, and Abhishek Chaubey who had a shot on Satyajit Ray’s short stories. This trio has represented the indigenous written texts in combination with their creative sensibilities. And, this creation is not an attempt to imitate the original maestro. Directors chose four of Ray’s classic short stories and created a blend of modern twists and maintaining the essence at the same time. It is a fatalistic and twisted take on Satyajit Ray’s classic short stories. Those time has gone, when filmmakers used to divide the characters in binaries like, black and white, right and left, wrong and right, etc. Meanwhile, the essence of originality in characters found lost somewhere. Well, this ideal accepted notion doesn’t apply to Ray. Here, all characters and elements are grey and human. And, talking about the twisted tale each segment is cloaked in suspense that will keep you fathomed till the end. 


Forget Me Not: 

Can you imagine a man with computer memory who never forgets anything? And, can you imagine the same person losing his mind in a moment? Well, Forget Me Not gives a kickstart to the anthology series. Ipsit Rama Nair (Ali Fazal) is a top entrepreneur with and computer memory who is known as “Ipsit Doesn’t Forget”. And, just one meeting with a girl Rhea Saran (Anindita Bose) who reminded him of their meeting at Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad. Ipsit who has full pride in his memory couldn’t remember a four-day meeting with a girl. And, another shocking fact that except him all his colleagues remember that. Is he losing his mind or is it something else? Well, that suspense will not leave your side till the end. The director Srijit Mukherji manages to maintain the mystery around Ipsit’s story. Ali Fazal has just nailed in his performance as Ipsit Rama Nair. The personality switch from a genius entrepreneur to an anxious man looking for answers is just amazing. However, the supporting character also did a fabulous job in engaging the viewers with the story. 


When people say “Hum Sab Bhi Baghwan Jaise Hi Hain Indrashish”, But it means “Aap Pehle Insaan Nahi Hai Aur Akhri Bhi Nahi Honge Jo Apne Aap Ko Khuda Samajh Lete our Muh Ke Bal Girte Hain”. These lines are the crux of the story of Bahurupiya. Indraashish Saha (Kay Kay Menon) from an ordinary middle-class man to being a Macbeth, made Indraashish an architect of his downfall. He is a makeup artist in Kolkata. He was always embarrassed by people. His life took a roller-coaster ride when he got a book of his grandmother “Bahurupiya” and Rs.75 lakh after her death. He decided to take revenge on each person who embarrassed him. The art of Prosthetics and Makeup through which his grandmother gained name, fame, and money was misused by her grandson Indraashish. Although, the story seems boring at the start but eventually gave a nail-biting end. 


Hungama Hain Kyun Barpa: 

Train journeys can be life-changing sometimes. This saying came to be true for Musafir Ali (Manoj Bajpayee), the protagonist of this segment. Musafir was traveling from Bhopal to New Delhi with his co-passenger Aslam Baig (Gajraj Rao). And, Musafir recalls his journey 10 years back with the same person. However, this was not an ordinary encounter. This segment was just the overwhelming magic of words. Each dialogue was placed perfectly in between these two talented actors. Well, this story has a dark secret with it that is revealed comically. The on-screen chemistry of the actors deserves your attention and keen presence of mind to understand the crux.


What will you choose: a Bollywood actor or a woman with divine powers? Vikram Arora aka Vik (Harshvardhan Kapoor) who was a famous Bollywood actor known for his ‘Look’. He was capable to run a movie with his looks only. However, his identity was challenged by a woman with divine powers ‘Didi’, where both of them checks in at the same hotel. Vik was surprised to see everyone from his producer to his girlfriend being charmed by Didi. He was losing his films, contracts, fame, and credibility because of ‘Didi’. Now, who is Didi? Why is she so much popular? And, who steals the spotlight? This segment will take to on a suspenseful ride and leave to overwhelmed at the end. 


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