On Satyajit Ray's birth anniversary: A look back at his iconic movies with Soumitra Chatterjee


Written By: Pragati Awasthi | Updated: May 02, 2022, 10:53 AM IST

Today, we celebrate the 101st birth anniversary of the renowned Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray. Despite his movies, inimitable filmmaking and love for cinema, he was also known for his collaboration with veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee aka Satyajit's favourite hero.

Soumitra and Satyajit are well-known for their famous collaboration, iconic movies and characters they have given to the world. The duo together worked in 14 movies, starting from 'Apur Sansar' to 'Shakha Proshakha'.

On Satyajit Ray's 101st birth anniversary, let's take a look at the 10 movies by the famous duo. 

Apur Sansar

Soumitra Chatterjee made his debut with Satyajit Ray's 'Apur Sansar', the third part of 'The Apu Trilogy'. In the movie, he played a character of a young Bengali boy, who is an unemployed graduate and had a passion of writing a novel partially based on his own life, hoping to get it published someday. 

The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film and several international awards. The movie has been influential across the world and is frequently listed among the greatest films of all time.



Soumitra Chatterjee's second collaboration with Satyajit Ray, 'Devi' a 1960 Bengali drama film, is based on a short story by Provatkumar Mukhopadhyay. The movie focuses on a young woman who is deemed a goddess when her father-in-law, a rich feudal land-lord, has a dream envisioning her as an avatar of Kali.



Soumitra Chatterjee with Satyajit Ray gave another masterpiece in 1962 movie, 'Abhijan'. In the movie, Soumitra played the character of a Taxi driver name Narsingh, who is a proud and hot-tempered Rajput with a passion for his car, a vintage 1930 Chrysler and his Rajput heritage.

His character was a direct influence for the character of the cynical cab driver Travis Bickle (played by Robert De Niro) in Martin Scorsese's 1976 movie 'Taxi Driver' (1976). Scorsese himself has credited Satyajit Ray as a major influence on his work



One of Satyajit Ray's most celebrated movie, 'Charulata', the1964 Indian drama, was based upon the 1901 novel 'Nastanirh' by Rabindranath Tagore. In the movie, Soumitra Chatterjee played the brother of the protagonist Charulata. 




Aranyer Din Ratri

'Aranyer Din Ratri' is an Indian Bengali adventure drama based upon the Bengali novel of the same name by Sunil Gangopadhyay. The movie follows the story of four friends and all are educated and come from different layers of society, but the urge to escape from the daily grind of city life forces them to go out into the land of tribes. In the movie, Soumitra played the character of Asim, the leader of the pack, who owns the car they drive-in, has a cushy job, likes the company of girls and yet is very conscious of how he should be perceived by them.

It was one of the earliest films to employ the literary technique of the carnivalesque. 


Sonar Kella

Soumitra Chatterjee and Satyajit Roys mystery drama, 'Sonar Kella' is considered another masterpiece. The movie was an adaption of the book of the same name. In the movie, he played the character of a private investigator name Feluda. 


Joi Baba Felunath

'Joi Baba Felunath' was a mystery film by director Satyajit Ray. The film is based on the famous Feluda novel of the same name written by Ray himself. It is the second film of Feluda as well as the sequel of 'Sonar Kella' directed by Satyajit Ray. In the movie, Soumitra played a character of Feluda, a private investigator who helps the Ghosal family in finding out the thief of the attempted theft that took place in their house. 


Ghare Baire

Satyajit Ray romantic drama, 'Ghare Baire'. The movie is set in 1907 on the estate of the rich Bengali noble Nikhilesh (Victor Banerjee). In the movie, he played an evolutionist, Sandip  The film was in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. and won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali.




Satyajit and Soumitra next famous collaboration was 'Kapurush'. In the movie, the legendary star played a character of Amitabha Roy, who is a Calcutta-based scriptwriter. The movie follows a story of a man, who once passed up the opportunity to marry the woman he loves returns in hopes of claiming her.


Shakha Proshakha

Shakha Proshakha deals with four generations of a well-to-do Bengali family, with a focus on the third generation. This film displays an extraordinary use of legendary orchestras of Bach and Beethoven. In the movie, he played the character of a  mentally ill person.