Fritz Critical Analysis || By - Satyajit Ray

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Satyajit Ray (1921 - 1992), an Indian film maker and a rare literary persionality was awarded with two of the highest awards in India. First, the film fraternity recognised his indeliable contribution to the world of cinema by proudly awarding him highest civilian award of India "The Bharat Ratna" in 1992 and the highest cinema award "Dadasahib Phalke Award" in 1984. Earlier in 1987 he was also awarded with the commnad of the national order of the Legion Honour, the higest decoration in France. The 64th academy award in 1991 declared him as honorary award. 

          Right from his childhood days, Ray have evolved without himself for the film and Literature. Cinema had already experienced its beginning in 1913 in India. The workrs and contributions of Rabrindranath Tagore influenced him a lot. Just as Tagore for humanism, Ray also developed special mind to study it at its depth such was this connection and impact that he even became a student at Santi Niketan. However with the passage of time , but also a great motion picture deirection of his time. 

          No sooner did he dive into the world to cinema than the world of cinema was taken by surprise with Ray's "Pather Panchi", his movie, getting recognised as one of the best movie at the academy awards this made him a household name and in no time thereafter, his versality evident when in continous success he started making movie both in Bengali and in Hindi.

          Apart from being a successful film maker, he was a very famous literery personality of his times specially in Bengali Literature. He found his talent as a writer, a big advantage to understand his cinema. While into his movies, he evolved as a writer at the same time. Never did both of these elements of art disturb him and his life whenever he was into writing, he justified with his writing and when he was with his cinema, he was truely an intense passionate filmmaker. 

         We have great writers in the field of literature who have been credited with novels and stories. Thus far better than the way Ray wrote his horror stories and which is the attention of readers compelled by Ray's art that he crafts a spell binding atmosphere till the story has been read throught. 

         When the stort begins, we are straight away introduced to two friends of childhool , the narrator and Jayanto. There two friends after long gap of many years. They were, that in 51 years, half decided to visit Bundi in Rajasthan. Question would arise as to why they did not have their friendship reunion at more face famous and romantic place like Jaipur, Udaipur and Chittor ; it is to remind us of another background story with the childhood of Jayanto at Bundi when Jayanto's father Animish Dash Gupta had worked archelogical department, them Jayanto had always to get back to his place. Now, that both these frends were grouped up adults, the forts of Bundi was horidly a treat to their wyes. However, there was something primerly about the vostalgic feeling that constantly pulled the attention of Jayanto to his place.



"I had merely forgotten, now
soyrce of my memories are coming back slowly.
The bunglow certainly appers unchanced ...
31 years ago I was six then."

          Jayanto seeing preoccupied as he was totally under the impact of his childhood memories od Bundi. Hence everything that he said was moved around as a six year old boy among the forts of Bundi. Ray knows how to create suspense around his characters. Not only does he retain himself from totally giviing all the information at a time but he also ensures that the readers are busy trying to discover something new. Shankar, the narrator and the friend of Jayanto was also somewhat puzzled. But one by one the mystries started to enravel themselves. The famous Bundi was certainly a place of beauty sight as tagores poem "The Forts Of Bundi" would prove to be the narrator did somehow realise that they wore much more than what met their wyes.


"I notice Jayanto had turned rather
quiet after arriving in Bundi ... His memories have
returned ... Jayanto was certainly more emotional
than most people"

            The first Object which Jayanto connected himself with clearly was the Deodar tree. What was special avout this tree. Jayanto wanted to know that is the Deodar tree still there where he had seen it thirty years ago. He was determoned to believe that the tree would still be there as tree dont move or go roaming about. However, Shankar was amazed as to why among all things Jayanto remembered the tree first. This is where the story becomes more thrilling and interesting as Jayanto never revealed the reason for his recollection of the image of the tree. The authors as well leaves it undiscussed with a purpose perhaps to keep the readers guessing. 
A horror story cannot then remove any fascination that generally controls the discertion of the plot.



           Then, Jayanto comes to mention sudden European, why on earth would anyone mention a European withou any hint of some clean connection. But, the way Jayanto stronglt expresses it, it certainly made an impact on Shankar. However, Jayanto is of the openion that he hardly knows why he ever recall such thing, according to him memory was a strance business. All memories one by one have started to return. He could recall how his father would sit and smoke and his mother would meet them It was amidst this business of recollection that another object get a surprise mentioned by jayanto , a Doll.


"An uncle had brought the doll
from Switzereland for Jayanto ...
Twelve inch long figure of an old man ... It was life like ."

          The doll was not the usual kind of doll little girl played with. It was cetainly an old man in the doll. It was called Fritz. Jayanto was introduced by his uncle to call him by that name, then only it will respond. Hardly had Jayanto received that gift from his uncle when he was seen only playing with it. He spent long hours taliking to him. These was an impression on Jayanto that his conversation with Fritz was real. He would not listen to anyone trying to convense him otherwise. 

          Satyajit Ray was a master story teller as was he a good film director. He never made his stories and fims boring with innecessary details. Rather his story would hover (to roam about) some interesting topics located in an equally mystifying places. This is however he is so Brilliant in his narratives. just observe the structure of the story of time. Shankar and Jayanto have been portrayed as two working adults. But they also talk about insidents which occured more than 30 years ago. both of these are so well connected as is displayed in the narration by Ray.

          Lets now again move to fritz. The doll on one fine day when Jayanto was -insisting on having tea, the tea cup tilted soiling the pants of Jayanto.Hardly had he gone in for a change from the lawn when a couple of stray dogs, hold of the doll and battered the doll beyond recognisation.In short,fritz was dead thereafter and Jayanto was without himfor he was given by Jayanto a ceremonial burriel under deoder tree.




"I burried him under that 
deodar tree.I had wanted 
to make a coffin.He was 
after all European."

          So, this is how tghe mystery of Deodar and European was solved. Shankar had finally come to know why these two abjects were suddenly recalled by jayanto. One would think  that th story would come to an end here. But, there are more surprise and horrors awaiting the readers. Later in the night while Shanker was first asleep Jayanto was sitting up all shocked and frightened by the sound of unknown creatures in their room. On more enquiry, They also discovered that cats and mice wouldn't have been there as the doors and the windows were bolted from within. However, this horror reaches climax when they see on their bed cloths - "tiny, brown circles marks." How on earth could anything happen like that ! there were things happening which could not, be explained in words. Even on next day sight seen, Jayanto was hardly himself. While Shanker, Jayanto was hardly himself. While Shanker enjoyed those design or Forts, Jayanto were all lost. 


"I offered him a cigreet but he
refused. I noticed a veiled 
Excitement ... This odd restlessness
in him worried me"

         Satyajit Ray loved keeping his readers away from his goals. He would spend sometimes making the readers prepared towards an intense climax which would ultimately have a fantastic ending to be remembered by the readers for long. As the story advances here, we can observe how Jayanto and his behaviour make us uncomfortable. Besides the characters of Ray's stories are perfect examples of how one could create nightmares and haunted memories. Eversince Jayanto had landed in Bundi, he had been behaving quiet unusually. It was time for Shankar now to ask him what made him feel so. Quiet interestingly thou Jayanto imagines some parametres. He has this feeling that Fritz was moving about and he could feel that.



"Fritz came into our room
last night"

        Shanker wants to end this series of  abnormal happening. Besides, he could not see Jayanto being so disturbed and therefore he decided that they dig the grave where Fritz was burried under that Deodar tree. It wasen't a bright idea then because nobody digs a grave of a doll to prove to prove hallucination. Shankar as a teacger thought this was the only way to make Jayanto normal about Fritz being around him by him. 

         Taking a shade from a garderner who hardly understood why they would dig that place. Unless for an asumed treasure. But, they did dig the grave and to their unexpected horror and surprise they found a "HUMAN SKELETON" instead of a twelve inch doll or Fritz. Satyajit Ray does not end with any explanation for this horrifying discovery. Just like Rabindranath Tagore he keep it "Open ended". This is a beauty of his horror and other stories. Because the readers would certainly have so many question in their mind now if the doll was not there then was it true when Jayanto felt the presence of Fritz around him ? Ray has kept these question all open and this is what makes this most interesting to read. 


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