Ray series review: An anthology that brings out great performances, strong storytelling and beautiful visuals

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Ray on Netflix narrates tales that are inspired by the legendary Satyajit Ray. With an ensemble cast, here's our review. Read on Platocast.

Ray on Netflix might deserve quite the applause and deserves all the attention it has been receiving. A tribute to the maestro that Satyajit Ray is, is truly a big task. However, you can trust the makers to have done their job well. Read more to know about the anthology in this Ray review. Ever since the trailer, this anthology has truly been a much-awaited watch.

Ray Cast:  Manoj Bajpayee, Ali Fazal, Kay Kay Menon, Harshvarrdhan Kapoor, Gajraj Rao, Shweta Basu Prasad, Anindita Bose, Bidita Bag, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Radhika Madan, Chandan Roy Sanyal, and Akansha Ranjan Kapoor

Technical Department:

  • Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa by Abhishek Chaubey: Based on Satyajit Ray’s short story Barin Bhowmik-er Byaram (transl. Barin Bhowmick’s Ailment)
  • Bahrupiya by Srijit Mukherji: Based on Ray’s short story Bahurupi (transl. Multi-character)
  • Forget Me Not by Srijit Mukherji: Based on Ray’s short story Bipin Chowdhury’r Smritibhrom (transl. Bipin Chowdhury’s Lapse of memory)
  • Spotlight by Vasan Bala: Based on Ray’s short story of the same name
  • Written by: Niren Bhatt and Siraj Ahmed
  • Cinematography by: Arkodeb Mukherjee, Swapnil Sonawane, Anuj Dhawan, Eshit Narain

Where to watch: You can stream Ray on Netflix.

Ray plot

The anthology narrates tales of four men, each with a different flavour. Both of Srijit’s stories, Forget Me Not as well as Bahrupiya, seem to maintain this darkness to the tale. The first story features Ali Fazal as Ipsit, a business tycoon who holds pride in his ability to remember everything. However, things change upon his encounter with a female, and he questions everything. What follows, and the way things end is what this tale narrates. Bahrupiya is the story of Indrashish, played by Menon, a make-up artist. When you see this story, the dialogue about how humans are also creators, and hence, also God, makes much more sense. However, what follows is also something that is a result of what we call the God complex.

Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa is the tale of a Ghazal singer, Musafir Ali, and his train journey with Gajraj’s Aslam. Their conversations are riveting, and keep you hooked. Another set of twists and turns, along with true blue Ray essence, are what impress. Finally, there’s Harshvarrdhan’s Spotlight. The story basically talks about whether or not Bollywood is greater than religion. You Think you might know, but then, you have no idea what follows.

Check out the trailer of Ray on Netflix here:

Analysis

From the very beginning, something that one knows is what a success the anthology will be because of the cast. And well, in that, the Ray cast does not disappoint. Beginning with Ali Fazal, he truly shines in the story, and probably, might also feel like a saving grace The character is one that isn’t very new, but the additional flavours of arrogance, among other things, bring out a fresh tale. Shweta and Anindita, play their pars of Maggie and Rhea well, and you like seeing them for whatever screen-time they are given. Menon is yet another lovely watch, for he plays his part well. He is a revelation, and it makes you want to see more of him. There’s no doubting him to do what he is asked to, with utmost finesse, and that’s what he does. Rajesh, Dibyendu and Bidita are great additions to the story, Bahrupiya.

cast of Ray series
Image Credits: Netflix

Moving on to the next story, even with absolutely different stories, Manoj and Gajraj are the best of the best. They fit each other like a glove, and we definitely need more of these two men together. The cameos from Raghubir and Manoj also bring alive the story better. Spotlight, sees Radhika Madan as the absolute show-stealer, while Harshvarrdhan gets his due. The story may not be the best of the best, but these two, along with Chandan make for a great watch. Also, notice some of the Satyajit Ray references hidden here and there. They are fun to watch out for!

Right from the cast of Ray to the storytelling and visuals, everything seems to fall right into place. One cannot deny that Ray has no faults, however, they don’t overpower what we like. Every single film in the series deserves a due for the cinematography, the background score, and the entire package that comes along.

Ray Series Highs

Every single film in this series has its moments, and they are different for all. The train sequence between Gajraj and Manoj is an absolute highlight. Ask me my best, and my bent lies towards Hungama Kyun Bapra. It is truly one of the finest. We cannot highlight enough, just how good are the performances, and they all will go down as one of their career best. Having said that, it is also equally interesting how every film brings a flavour. Retelling some classic stories with such conviction is where Ray, becomes the game-changer.

Manoj Bajpayee and Gajraj Rao in Ray
Manoj Bajpayee and Gajraj Rao in Ray

Almost everything about the movie is perfect, the editing, the music, and the cinematography. Given that each story is one of its kind, it caters to a variety of audiences, and that is also where lies its beauty.

Ray Series Lows

A lot of instances in the movie make you wondering what is happening. One such moment is when Spotlight comes to an end. You are still left trying to figure out what has been going on after all. Forget Me Not, is yet another story that leaves you with questions, and some of them stay.

One of the reviews read, the ‘maestro deserved a better tribute’ and some of the things about the movie are mediocre. When what is going on the screen feels a little out of sync, you are left wondering the same.

Should you watch it?

With everything that the movie has in store, trust our Ray series review and give the movie a watch. You might not like all of them, but you will definitely love a lot of things about this Netflix anthology.

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