So I just finished the Apu trilogy. Great movies, sure, but console/restore hope? What? More like throw you into depression. I think I acknowledged that likely response during my pick - but come on, you can't say there isn't hope in that ending.
I should probably go back and revisit the top 5 since watching and also the original marathon. My reading of the ending is probably overly bleak.Apu, who has been so beaten down in life, abandons his own son for 5 years and has to nearly be dragged back to check on him. And still he just wants to ship him off to boarding school. Sure, once he's there he has a notion of bringing his son with him, but at the slightest sign of resistance decides to go off and abandon him again. Only when the little guy, who is apparently the bigger of the two, chases him down does he finally show signs of hope. But I can't help but feel tainted by that point. Is he going to have another change of heart and drop him off at a boarding school at the first sign of an issue with the obviously troubled child? Yes, this is me reading too much into it, and Ray probably wanted to ring more hopeful, but it didn't entirely land with me.
Again, I'm being a bit hyperbolic here. I did really appreciate the films and there are a few moments that are genuinely lovely, and do inspire hope. The scene where Apu skips the train to spend another day with his mother comes to mind in particular.
However for every sweet moment, Ray finds the most brutal way to dash those hopes into little bits. The ending goes out on a high note, but I can only assume we are being saved from misery that would have unfolded had we gotten another scene or two.