When a classic is recreated, audience generally gets skeptical about the new version. But, the animated feature Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya brings the magic back from Satyajit Ray’s 1969 cult classic Goopi Gyne Baagha Byne.
Adapted from Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury’s classic of the same name, the new animated version has been successful in holding on to the charisma of Goopi and Bagha blissfully. For Bengalis, Goopi and Bagha are an emotion, and holds a special place in the list of iconic duos. The story line of this peculiarly stunning animated piece is mostly adhered to the original work of Ray Chowdhury and Satyajit Ray, with few alterations. For instances, ‘Halla’ kingdom becomes ‘Hundi’, ‘Horituki’ village becomes Chimkoli, ‘Barfi’-the magician becomes Laddoo and so on.
Goopi is an aspiring singer but is not melodious enough, while Bagha tries his hands at drumming who is equally bad. Banished from their respective villages for their not so good music skills, the two land up in a jungle and their destinies get entwined, making them inseparable. The story gains momentum as they encounter the King of Ghosts, who impressed with their song and music, grants them four boons. Goopi and Bagha are then blessed with three boons instantly with the fourth one saved for later.
They embark on a new adventure as they land up in the kingdom of Shundi, which has been threatened for war by its neighbouring country-Hundi reigned by Shundi king’s twin brother. The story remains universal and still relatable with the conflict of war and peace, which becomes all the more pertinent with the current scenario. With the power of their music they’re finally able to change the pre-conditioned minds hungry for war, in a story that’s written very wisely and executed smartly.
Produced by Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI) in association with Karadi Tales, Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya is directed by Shilpa Ranade, with screenplay by Soumitra Ranade and animation by Paperboat Animation Studios. The animation team has done an impeccable work with different, unique techniques and quirky illustrations. The design by Shilpa has stood out especially as such work in animation is rarely seen in the country.
Inspired from the traditional folk paintings, the artwork in the film looks intricate and eye catchy. Created using different characteristics, the plot of the movie keeps unfolding numerous creatively developed characters.
The animation style is not 3D and realistic like the famous animated movies, the kids are fond of, but it sure is peculiar and serves the purpose of the film. The delicate designs, specifically carved styles to make every character stand out, definitely deserve a round of applause.
People who have seen the original version are sure to get hit with nostalgia. Kids will dance to the peppy tunes with the amazing music throughout this musical extravaganza. Created by 3 Brothers & A Violin and composed by Karadi Tales founder Narayan Parashuram, the music keeps unwinding in our minds long after we are out of the cinema hall.
The retelling of this classic in such style of animation paves the way for such amazing pieces created with passion and love. As its subtitle aptly portrays, “First Children’s films for Adults”, there are layers of meanings and metaphors waiting to interpreted and reinterpreted. The film is vibrant, attractive and keeps one hooked, all ages alike. Such films should definitely be encouraged and appreciated, just exactly what it deserves.
All hail, Goopi and Bagha!