THE ADVENTURES OF GOOPY AND BAGHA (GOOPY GYNE BAGHA BYNE) (director/writer: Satyajit Ray; screenwriter: story by Upendra Kishore Raychowdhuri; cinematographer: Soumendu Roy; editor: Dulal Dutta; music:  Satyajit Ray; cast: Tapen Chatterjee (Goopy), Robi Ghosh (Bagha), Santosh Dutta (King of Halla/King of Shundi), Harindranath Chatterji (Borfi), Jahar Ray (Prime Minister of Halla), Prasad Mukherjee (King of Ghosts/Village Elder), Durgadas Bannerjee (King of Amloki), Govinda Chakravarti (Goopy's Father); Runtime: 132; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Ashim and Nepal Dutta; Big Home Video; 1969-India--in Bengali with English subtitles)

"Delightful children's film by India's greatest director Satyajit Ray."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Delightful children's film by India's greatest director Satyajit Ray ("Nayak"/"Devi"/"Company Limited"). The black and white musical fantasy/comedy film received both critical and commercial success on its theater release in India. It was adapted by Ray from a story by his grandfather Upendra Kishore Raychowdhuri. There's a surprising impressive color sequence in the climax. It's only fault is that I thought it was too lengthy to hold the attention of children. But the appealing film dazzles with Ray's lively score carried out very well by the film's stars.

Goopy (Tapen Chatterjee) is the country bumpkin son of a farmer (Govinda Chakravarti), who wants to be a singer but lacks talent. The playful villagers urge him to serenade the King (Durgadas Bannerjee) in the morning with a raga, and that results in the dreadful singer banished from the village of Amloki. He's put on a donkey and sent on his way by the guards through a forest, where he meets the drummer Bagha (Robi Ghosh), also banished from his village for bad drum playing. At night the music of the two might not please the living but it pleases the King of the Ghosts (Prasad Mukherjee), who is doing a fantastic death dance in the forest. As a reward he grants them three wishes-that they never will want for food or clothes, instant travel to anywhere and musical talent. The magical powers work when they don magical slippers and clap.

The now talented musical duo go to the Kingdom of Shundi (Santosh Dutta), where they are hired as court musicians after winning a contest. The King then sends them to his twin brother King Halla (Santosh Dutta) and orders them to stop an impending war between the neighboring kingdoms. The musicians discover the evil magician, Borfi (Harindranath Chatterji), has drugged King Halla and made him into a bad king on the orders of the power hungry prime minister (Jahar Ray). The boys use their music and magic to avert a war and return King Halla to normal. As a reward the boys are offered by each king a daughter to marry.

Of note, the singing of Goopy is dubbed by Anup Kumar Ghosal.

REVIEWED ON 3/16/2014       GRADE: B+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"