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Two
1964, India. 15 mins., B/W, no spoken language

Credits
Producer: Esso World Theater
Original Screenplay & Direction: Satyajit Ray
Cinematography: Soumendu Roy
Editing: Dulal Dutta
Art Direction: Bansi Chandragupta
Sound: Sujit Sarkar
Music: Satyajit Ray
 
Cast  
Ravi Kiran and a street child
   
Summary
In a fairy tale like treatment, the film shows an encounter of two boys - a rich kid living in big house and a boy living in a slum. The rich boy’s window overlooks the slum.

The film moves through the attempts at one-upmanship evident in their successive display of their toys. When the slum boy takes out a flute, the rich boy drowns its sound by his loud toy-trumpet; when the slum boy switches to a home-made mask and spear, the rich boy becomes a cowboy with a gun; when the slum boy tries to fly a humble kite, the rich boy shoots it down by his toy rifle… The slum boy gives up trying to be friends with the rich boy and the rich boy seems proud of his victory. Not for long, though…

Notes of the slum boy’s flute are heard again as the rich boys noisy toy-robot trips and breaks down. The film ends with the rich boy pondering over his unspoken defeat.
Comments
Two was made as part of a trilogy of short films from India that were commissioned by the US Public Television under the banner of Esso World Theater. The other two films featured Pandit Ravi Shankar and a ballet troupe from Bombay.

Ray was asked make a film in English in a Bengali setting. Not very happy with the prospect, he opted to do away with the spoken word. A great admirer of the silent cinema, Ray pays a tribute to the genre.

The film “packs quite a punch in its ten (actually 15) minutes”, Ray wrote to Marie Seton at the timing of making the film.
Other Online Reviews
  • Two, Satyajit Ray Film & Study Collection
Still
Ray on location of Two
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