Two – a short film by Satyajit Ray that you might have missed

Short films can really be an engaging medium for film makers and film lovers. Especially for story lovers, short films have always made a mark. Satyajit Ray, one of the pioneers of Indian cinema was entrusted with a project commissioned by the US Public Television under the banner of Esso World Theater in 1965. The project had a guideline which made it mandatory for the director to make an English film in a Bengali setup. He made a silent film paying a tribute the genre. It seemed Ray was really not happy with proposal, but the result was mesmerizing.

‘Two’ is a silent film with a very surreal treatment that depicts the encounter of two kids from two different segments of our society. A rich kid with all kinds of amusement materials at his disposal and a slum boy with limited resources but with a very poignant approach towards happiness are protagonists of this short film.

A still from sets of ‘Two’

The kid from the well-to-do family watches a slum boy playing around from his window and tries to conquer his small world of happiness with all his efforts. As they both display their collection of toys, every time the rich kid out-plays him with his set of options. Loud trumpets as an answer to a humble flute, a cowboy look with a gun as an answer to a home-made mask and a spear. And when defeated by all means, the slum boy tries to fly a simple kite, the rich kid shoots it down with his air rifle. Overpowered and humbled, the slum boy gives up while proud of his victory the rich kid comes back to his lavish room filled with toys and amusement materials.

The “Ray” of hope for Indian Cinema!

However, the suggestive victory of the rich kid did not last long enough.  The film ends with flute music played by the slum boy which encapsulates the silent aura of the film while the rich boy observes his toy robot breaking down. He still did not surrender, but the slum boy made him realize the thin line between winning and losing. A must watch!

Cast: Ravi Kiran and a random street child

Producer: Esso World Theater

Screenplay & Direction: Satyajit Ray

Cinematography: Soumendu Roy

Editing: Dulal Dutta

Art Direction: Bansi Chandragupta

Sound: Sujit Sarkar

Music: Satyajit Ray


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