TWO – A silent but intense film by Satyajit Ray

TWO is a silent film fable and also marks its record as RAY’s first-ever directed silent picture in the year of 1964 especially on a request by the Esso World Theatre to serve an American non-profit organisation. It is also considered as a prelude to Ray’s Goopy Gaine Bagha Baine (1969) which portrayed the moral of Vietnam War layered with a juvenile touch.

What is TWO all bout?

TWO basically depicts two strata of our society i.e poverty and the riches where two children encounter each other through a window, one inside a mansion and the other in the nearby slum. The economic demarcation has been very deeply reflected in this 15-minute short film wherein the slum dweller is busy in merry-making with his bamboo-made natural toys from the nearby bush while the child inside the mansion is still not pleased with his modern toys comprised of robots, puzzle games, indoor cricket board, etc.

The Plot in Brief

The film starts with the introduction of a rich kid (Ravi Kiran) playing with his toys and enjoying a bottle of soft drink. This is possibly a symbol of the imperialist, and capitalist First World. While playing, he seems to hear a sound and becomes curious. He overlooks the window and finds a slum kid playing the flute. This symbolises the exploited Third World.

In order to show the toys, the rich kid takes out his toy trumpet and makes loud sounds. The street kid then rushes back to his hut, brings his small drum in front of the rich kid and starts beating it. The rich kid then showcases his battery-operated monkey drummer toy.

Then the street kid again comes up with a home-made mask, bow and arrow. The rich kid then wears various masks in return. These include one of a demon, native American & Cowboy. The rich kid brandished swords showed spears and guns. Seeing this, the street kid returns to his hut disappointed. The rich kid also resorts to start playing his toys with a sense of sadistic satisfaction.

While playing, the rich kid sees a kite flying in the sky, through the window. Being curious about who is flying the kite, the rich kid finds the slum kid holding the string of the kite i.e. Manja. The rich kid gets furious to see the street kid flying the kite happily. He quickly picked a slingshot to attack the kite.

Unable to get proper aim, the rich kid then successfully shoots down the kite with his toy gun. Then he taunts the poor street kid with a cruel sense of satisfaction. The street kid returns to his hut with teary eyes and a torn kite in his hand. He now gives up any effort to be friends with the rich kid.

The rich kid resorts to playing all of the toys, and each of them making its own sound. The film ends with the rich kid still able to hear the sound of the flute among the loud noises of his toys and thinks over his deeds. At the same time, the toy robot that the rich kid left playing hits the toy tower and makes it fall.

Since the movie is made during the time of the Vietnam War, the rich arrogant kid probably symbolises the USA and the street kid represents Vietnam. TWO is the best example of reflective teaching by simply involving two kids and it caters to all the age groups.


Credits

Sanket Mitra – Book & Movie Review Writer, follow him on Facebook here.

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Sanket Mitra
Sanket Mitra
1 month ago

Thanks for putting it down here with such a good image. Hope everyone like it.

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