Music’ Impact on Neorealism

Another aspect of neorealism, which is evident in Ray’s film, is the distinct lack of music. In most Bollywood videos, filmmakers incorporate Indians music to form a compelling soundtrack (Gooptu & Chakravarty 2013). Certainly, Ray was under the influence of Italian neorealism since he rejected the notion of adding background music, which many Indians consider as highly significant. Evidently, The Apu Trilogy, Ray’s previous creation, is a crucial aspect in Pather Panchali. For example, in one of the scenes, Durga and Apu, who are siblings, manage to escape poverty and indulge in the natural beauty of the surroundings (Ray 1994). This scene is a demonstration of the Italian neorealist influence in Bollywood. One of the striking features of neorealism movies is the depiction of the social realities such as poverty and deprivation. Ray demonstrates this aspect of neorealism by depicting Durga and Apu as existing in a perpetual cycle of deprivation and always looking for ways to improve their social conditions.

Ray also chooses the most natural locations for shooting Pather Panchali. Evidently, he wanted the backdrop of each scene to be self-explanatory to viewers, thus eliminating the need for a running commentary. Additionally, there is a deliberate refrain by Ray to indulge in the common exaggerated practices in most Bollywood films. According to Vasudevan (2012), Ray demonstrates some connections with the traditions and representations that prevailed in the earlier eras in an effort to reconcile with the traditional Indian identity. From Ray’s perspective, the popular compendium, which comprises of studio-scene shooting, melodrama, and artificial forms character representation are not acceptable in the context of neorealistic films. According to Ray (1994), such aspects of the movie would have undermined the plausibility and desirability of the film in the context of the regime of verisimilitude.